August 2, 2014

SCAM U: Fake cops calling businesses for credit card scam

In Kansas, scammers falsely identifying themselves as police are calling businesses claiming they're conducting a fraud investigation, and need the names and phone numbers of customers that made large purchases over the past few hours. Once customer information is exchanged, the scammers proceed to call the customers, except now they identifying themselves as the business they received the information from. During this phone call, they state the order did not go through due to the credit card system going down, so they need the customer's credit card number again to process the transaction.

Scammers social engineer phone scamUnfortunately, scammers using variations of this tactic is not isolated to the Kansas State area. Similar reports from last month are coming out of the Athens-Clarke and Oconee County, Georgia.

In the Annapolis, Maryland area back in 2007, a fake police detective called multiple businesses requesting various customer credit card information for a fictional on-going case. Additionally, Annapolis Police received reports in 2006 of scammers using a similar tactic. Fortunately, police report that scammers have not been very successful with this ruse. 

Businesses receiving phone calls from people claiming to be police officers investigating fraud should ask for the "officer's" full name, position, rank, ID, their supervisor's name, and a phone number. Then, using a known number, call their local police department to verify the "officer's" identity. The business could also ask to speak with an officer in person.  Most police departments do not conduct fraud investigations over the phone, so businesses should be initially suspicious if they receive a phone call like this out of the blue. 

Residents that suspect they're being contacted by scammers should report it immediately to their local police.

Athens Banner Herald (2014 July 29). Fake cop tries to scam customer, employee of Athens business. Online Athens: Blotter. Retrieved from 

Foster, B. (2014 August 1). OP police warning businesses, residents about new scam: Scammers pretend to be police and businesses. KMBC 9 News Kansas City. Retrieved from!btN5AW  

Rawlyk, H. (2007 October 23). Fake cop attempts credit card scam. Capital Gazette. Retrieved from 

Rizzo, T. (2014 August 1). Fake cops call area businesses for credit card information. The Kansas City Star: Kansas City, MO. Retrieved from 

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