Police: Even officers aren't immune to phone scams

Published: Apr. 24, 2015 at 10:12 PM CDT|Updated: May. 22, 2015 at 10:37 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - An alert tonight for residents in the Tennessee Valley.

Fake calls are popping up everywhere from crooks hoping to scam you out of money.

As a Florence police officer knows firsthand the callers can be both intimidating and persistent.

"I've got everyday problems like everybody else rent, TV, phone, cable, kids screaming you know those types of things,” said Florence police officer Jonathan Richey, “and yes I can fall victim to crime just like anyone else."

As an officer, it's Jonathan Richey's job to enforce the law and protect citizens, but when it comes to con artists trying to steal your money, even police aren't immune.

"Even when I told this lady I was a law enforcement officer she didn't care,” said Richey, “that just made her want to go after me even more."

For the last several weeks Richey says he's received dozens of harassing and intimidating calls from a woman claiming to be with the State fraud and worthless check division.

The caller demands money and threatens jail time if you don't pay.

Richey says the woman had banking and other personal information on him. 

"How many times have we bought something online, the question is 'Where does this information go?' So someone who knows their way around a computer really well they can get all kinds of information on you."

Unfortunately catching the callers isn't as easy. 

Richey says, "There's not really a whole lot law enforcement can do, most of the time these people are located overseas, but if we can prevent someone from falling for this and losing thousands of dollars, then that's what I want to get out there."

Authorities say always use your good common sense before sending money or giving out additional personal information to a potential
scammer on the phone.

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