Local police are investigating reports of a phone scam where fraudsters pose as law enforcement in an attempt to extort money.
The Cortland County Sheriff’s Office has gotten several complaints of this nature from area residents.
Authorities say the technique involves both male and female callers who threaten their potential victim with arrest for money laundering, drug trafficking or some other crime; unless they send money.
Typically, the scammer begins by identifying themselves as a government agent or law enforcement official.
Then, a false case ID number is provided and the person demands payment via some type of gift card (i.e. Google Pay, ITunes, Apple Gift Cards).
In some cases, the caller has even directed victims to travel into a store and purchase these cards while staying on the phone with them.
As a reminder, official law enforcement agencies will never contact the public and ask for payment directly.
Requests for gift cards should always raise red flags in regards to a potential scam.
Never give out personal information over the phone — or otherwise — to anyone you don’t know or do business with.
If you or someone you know experiences a similar ploy, contact your local law enforcement agency.