MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotans beware: criminals are aiming to steal your money by posing as members of law enforcement over the phone.

The Minnesota Commerce Department says phone scammers are calling potential victims and claiming they are investigating an identity fraud case that involves them.

The criminal tells the victim that they need to withdraw money from their bank account to catch the fraudster.

“Scam artists will try every trick in the book to gain people’s trust and steal their money,” MCD Commissioner Mike Rothman said. “Anyone can be a victim of a scam, so it’s important for everyone to be vigilant.”

Rothman says people should never give personal or financial information over the phone. They should also be suspicious of anyone who asks for money over the phone no matter who they claim to be.

If someone says they are a member of law enforcement, ask them to give their name and agency, and then contact that agency to confirm their authenticity. Also, never trust caller ID, which can easily be manipulated to show false information.

And above all, Rothman says people should use plain, old common sense.

If you believe you may be a victim of a scam, email the commerce department here. You can also call 651-539-1600, or 800-657-3602 if you live in greater Minnesota.

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