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Scammers posing as Miami police trying to steal your money

Police warn not to be fooled by phone calls seeking payment to satisfy warrants

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MIAMI – The city of Miami Police Department is warning residents about scammers who are spoofing their phone number to commit fraud.

Several people they said have called to complain about a police station telephone number.

The caller is purported to be stating, "You have a warrant, and in order for you to satisfy it, you need to pay us."

"Right now we don't have an accurate account of how many people have reported it," Sgt. Earnest Lawrence said. "We urge you, if you receive a call of this nature, if anyone calls you and asks you for your bank account information or lets you know that you have a warrant, immediately notify your local law enforcement agency because police will not call you to let you know that you have a warrant and that you need to pay it over the phone."

Miami police said they do not make phone calls to "wanted persons" and said if residents get this call do not provide the caller with any personal information. Instead, hang up immediately and call police.

"It's becoming more and more common," said Renee Thompson, the Florida Bankers Association director of communications. "People are looking for a way to quickly gain access to people's information, and one of the easiest and quickest ways is for people to give it to them themselves."

People have also dialed up Call Christina about similar phone scams.

Local 10 News investigative reporter Christina Vazquez reported in 2015 that con artists regularly use Caller ID spoofing in the on-going IRS imposter phone scam. Caller ID spoofing is a trick to make callers think that the identification device is displaying a call from the IRS. They are also using IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate.

Just last month, Call Christina reminded viewers to protect themselves from spoofing by never calling back the number that called. Instead, call the IRS directly with a question.