BPD Community Alert: What To Do If a Phone Scammer Calls You

The Boston Police Department has been made aware of several recent phone calls which appear to have originated from a number which was disguised as a legitimate Boston Police Department phone number. During these calls, the scammer requested that money be sent via an electronic transaction for any number of reasons.

The Boston Police Department is issuing a community alert in hopes of protecting, educating and informing community members on the appropriate steps to take if a phone scammer targets or calls them.

Here’s what to do if a phone scammer calls you:

You control the call. If you sense you’re being scammed, hang up the phone.

If any monetary demands are made, especially ones where the scammer requests funds be sent via MoneyGram or Western Union, it is a tell-tale sign of a fraud.

Talk about these scams and how they work with your family and friends. These scammers are good at what they do and can only be stopped by being aware.

Note the phone number where the call or text originated and report the incident to the Boston Police Department or your local area police immediately. The caller ID name and phone number displayed can easily be changed to read anything the scammers want it to read. If you don’t recognize the phone number, don’t answer. If it’s important, they will leave a message. This allows you time to verify who called you. 

In addition to filing a report with the Boston Police Department, victims are also encouraged to report any Phone/Internet Fraud Scams to the Federal Trade Commission. Please call the FTC at 1(877) FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261 or visit their website at: www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts