NEW: Delray residents targeted by phone scammers posing as police

March 07, 2018
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Callers posing as police officers collecting fines have targeted Delray Beach residents in a phone scam.

Callers posing as police officers who were collecting fines have targeted Delray Beach residents in recent weeks, city police reported Wednesday.

The callers have warned residents, most of them elderly, that they owed money for fines or fees. In recent weeks, five people have been targeted by phone scammers posing as police officers, police said. 

“Law enforcement officers do not contact people by phone to collect fines or fees,” Delray Beach police detective Kim Mead said in a statement Wednesday. “Never give anyone money over the phone. These criminals are believable. ....The best thing to do is just hang up.”

Police said those making the phone calls will make statements such as telling the resident they were caught on a traffic camera running a red light, or had failed to show up for traffic duty.

The resident is warned there is a warrant for their arrest, and they are directed to go to a store to buy a MoneyPak or other pre-paid debit card, for several hundred or a few thousand dollars.

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The caller will often provide the resident details such as intersections, case numbers, court dates, a phone number to call back and a law-enforcement rank.

Anyone who believes they gave money to someone they believe to be a scam artist, or who has information about the people making the calls, is asked to call the nearest law-enforcement agency.