Businesses warned of new ‘police’ phone scam

MICHIGAN — Businesses in Michigan are being warned of a new telephone scam, which is targeting offices throughout the U.S.

CPR Call Blocker is urging businesses in Michigan to hang up if someone claiming to be a local police officer phones encouraging you to make a donation to a community cause you have allegedly supported in the past.

The scam involves a business receiving a call from a person (usually a male) claiming to be a local police officer. He begins by asking for a company director by name and then asks a series of questions about whether or not there have been any problems with anti-social behavior in the area lately. This is a tactic to build a rapport with whoever answers the phone and display a level of knowledge of the local area to make them appear genuine.

After lulling businesses in to a false sense of security with a seemingly sound knowledge of the area and the names of the company directors, the call then takes a sinister turn. The caller goes on to ask whether or not the business will be continuing to support a local police community publication with a small donation, just as they have done in the past. An apparent “colleague” of the caller then calls within ten minutes of the original call asking for payment. Yet when challenged to provide a telephone number so he can be called back, he claims to have forgotten his number.

Kris Hicks, of CPR Call Blocker, is urging businesses in Michigan to be wary of unsolicited calls asking for donations.

“We would advise businesses in Michigan to be vigilant against these types of calls and suggest they never make a donation over the phone to an unsolicited caller without verifying the caller,” he said. “This can be done by asking for their full name, job title and telephone number so you can check it out. We would also advise businesses to be aware of all the causes that they have supported in the past so that they cannot be fooled in to donating to fake causes.”

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