According to Capt. Kmetz, “Today we just received two calls of people who stated they were called by us. Their caller ID reads Hopatcong Police 398-5000. I spoke to one of these residents. He did talk to the person on the phone. That person told him he was being sued. The "officer" was going to send him paperwork in the mail. The "officer" also had his address already.”
This is a scam where the caller is trying to steal your identity, or get you to pay a "fine". if you fall for it, you are sending a criminal money. Your phone number and address is easily found through paid sites.
You believe it is the Hopatcong Police Department because your caller ID says so. There is an app that you can install and have your phone number show up as any phone number you like. That is what these criminals are using.
To protect yourself you can simply:
- Tell the "officer" you will call them back at (973) 398-5000
- Ask for the officer’s name and badge number
- Call the station and ask for that officer and give his badge number
- Know that we deal with crime not lawsuits. We do not call anyone about a lawsuit.
- We do not call asking for money.
- We do not send paperwork for you to fill out. If you we want you we come and get you.
- If we are calling you, you should already know the subject matter. For example: If you beat your wife we will be calling to serve the restraining order on you. But you know that is coming.
- Do not give into the fear of a police officer calling you. The IRS scam works because most people are scared of the IRS They pay the "IRS agent" (usually one who has such an accent that you can hardly understand them) because of this fear.
- If what the "officer" is saying sounds weird, do not trust your caller ID. Hang up and call the Police Department.