Police warning about new kind of scam

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Police have an urgent warning about phone scams. They said the scammers will now call to ask for payments using gift cards.

Law enforcement in Duluth, Winder, and Gwinnett County said these criminals are able to get the police department’s phone number to pop up on the caller ID. It’s called “spoofing” and some people are falling for the deception.

Officers said some of the criminals will keep their victims on the phone as they go to the store and buy the gift card to pay.

"That's kind of a freaky thing, you know because my automatic assumption is like ‘What did I do?’ So, of course, I'm going to answer the phone and try and treat that person with respect, but as soon as they asked me for cards or some kind of gift cards, I mean ‘No!’ That's absurd,” said Edward Fieder who lives in Duluth.

Fieder said he gets scam calls all the time, but he hasn’t gotten this one. Duluth and Winder police have warnings up on social media about the scam. In Duluth, the person claims to be an IRS or DEA agent and demands payment via gift card. Lt. Peter Bava with Duluth PD said that’s not how they collect money.

"We knock on their door saying we have a warrant for your arrest. Or they'll get a letter from the court saying they're in deep. The police department won't do it, any money that's owed for fines is done by the court,” said Lt. Bava.

In Winder, police said scammers claim to be with the U.S. Treasury and demand their victims pay back taxes with gift cards.

Lt. Bava said the best thing to do is just hang up. If someone does give them a gift card number over the phone, police said there’s not anything they can do to get the money back.