Beware of scammers impersonating law enforcement

Gift cards are often requested

SIDNEY — Sidney Police warn the public to beware of scammers impersonating law enforcement agencies.

The Sidney Police Department (SPD) responded to Lowe’s on Tuesday ,Jan. 26, in reference to a person being scammed. A SPD press release said a person conducting the scam impersonated a district attorney and told the victim they had to purchase gift cards from Lowe’s or he was going to put a warrant out for their arrest.

Fortunately, alert employees at Lowe’s realized something was unusual with this purchase of gift cards and after some inquiry did not allow the transaction to happen and called the SPD. The responding officer spoke with the scammer and after a short conversation hung up. The scammer, to further convey his fraudulent activity, called back several minutes later pretending to be a Sidney Police dispatch employee. The phone number appearing on the victim’s caller ID came back as a SPD number revealing that the scammer was likely using number spoofing software in attempt to further deceive his victim.

“This incident is an example of what great lengths and sophistication thieves will do to steal,” the release said. “We ask for the public’s help in stopping these scammers. The biggest target for scammers are senior citizens. If you work at a store and someone is buying a lot of gift cards politely inquire what the cards are for. Senior citizens are scammed, per capita, $3 billion a year. No law enforcement agency will ever call you and ask you to buy gift cards and give them the numbers in order to stop an arrest warrant. If you get these calls hang up and contact your local police department.”

Gift cards are often requested