New York State Police are warning residents of the latest phone scam buzzing through the Empire State. The 'Imposter Scam' criminals use fake emergencies to get what they want from you and they want your money!

How many times a week do you receive calls from numbers you don't know? Too many! Often times the caller ID will show 'Potential Spam' but what if the ID appeared to be from an area police department? Would you answer then? That's just the start of this Imposter Scam. Here's what you should know.

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This Imposter Scam has been sweeping through Westchester County and in an instant could target you anywhere in the State. Many people are answering these calls because they appear to be from local law enforcement.

Once the scammers connect with you they convincingly tell the victim that a relative is involved in an emergency or that the victim has a warrant out for their arrest. The solution to these dilemmas? Money!

Photo by Jonas Lee on Unsplash
Photo by Jonas Lee on Unsplash

The Imposter Scammer urges the victim to send large sums of money to pay bail, fines or even settle medical expenses. In a moment of panic you might just fall for this. Here are some tips from the State Police to help protect you against the Imposter Scam:

  • Verify any supposed emergency by calling friends and family before sending money.
  • If the caller purports to be a bail bondsperson, ask where the relative is being held and contact the facility directly.
  • If the caller purports to be a law enforcement officer, get the exact agency name, hang up, and call that department directly.
  • Never purchase pre-paid debit cards or gift cards for the purpose of transferring money.
  • Ask a question that only the real family member would know the answer to, such as “what was the name of your first pet?”

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