AMHERST — If you get a call from the Amherst Police Department, it might not be an officer or dispatcher on the other end.
It might be a scam artist.
Police Lt. Dan Makruski warned Tuesday that people who live outside the city — from Hilliard to Cleveland to Minnesota — have been getting calls from the station’s main line at 440-988-2625.
They come from what’s known as a “spoofer,” a person who tricks your phone into seeing the wrong number.
Sources who answered the scammer told police that the caller knew their name, claimed to be following up on an open case, and tried to get information from the resident.
The caller was described as having a man’s voice with a heavy Indian accent, according to Makruski.
“We remind everyone to use great caution when answering personal questions from unsolicited callers,” Makruski wrote in a media release. “If there is any doubt as to the authenticity of the caller, hang up and take necessary steps to reach the organization or agency from which the caller claims to be calling.”
Amherst police aren’t alone in being the victims of a spoofing scam. A similar rash of calls was identified Nov. 15 by Wellington police.
In those calls, scammers would claim a family member had been arrested.
“If you ever have a doubt about the veracity of a call from WPD, please tell the officer you will call back. Officers have been instructed to accommodate people with doubts,” Wellington police posted online.