MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities in St. Paul are warning residents to be on alert for phone scammers who pretend to be representatives of law enforcement agencies and demand payments of thousands of dollars.
The St. Paul Police Department says the scammers pretend to be with the police department, the sheriff’s office, Xcel Energy, the IRS, or a federal grant program. They then pressure people to send them thousands of dollars, often in the form of iTunes gift cards, Target gift cards and MoneyPaks.
The police department says no legitimate agency would accept gift cards or MoneyPaks as payment. They also caution residents to take any suspicious calls slowly, verifying every piece of information.
Police warn that the scammers are sophisticated, relentless and armed with programs that make it look like they are calling from legitimate agencies.