It seems like there's a new story every day about thieves preying on people by telephone, but this may be one of the boldest phone scams yet: a fake caller claiming to be a police chief.
It's a phone scam that has police on high alert.
Callers have been pulling out all the stops to try and get money from residents in Rutherford County by phone.
In the latest incident, a caller pretended to be the chief of the Murfreesboro Police Department, and the caller ID even showed up as the number to the police information desk.
"The chief of police is not going to call and threaten anyone at all," said Murfreesboro Police Major Clyde Adkison.
Mohammad Salehzadeh of Woodridge Trail received back-to-back calls Monday, first from a woman claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service.
A Washington, D.C., number showed up on caller ID. The woman stated he had to pay 10 percent in taxes from his recent overseas travel purchases.
"I'm OK and I know this was a scam," Salehzadeh said.
Salehzadeh hung up, but not even 30 minutes later, a man called claiming to be the top cop of Murfreesboro police.
"It was pretty upsetting to me which they are using the Murfreesboro Police Department number and also saying they are the Murfreesboro chief of police and trying to scam people," Salehzadeh said. "I think it's very uncomfortable."
Salehzadeh's neighbors, two houses down in his Garrison Cove subdivision, already fell victim to the scammer and are out about $6,000.
Two weeks ago, another family was scammed out of nearly $18,000.
"We don't call to collect taxes, we don't call to collect payments," Adkison said.
Often times, the victims are asked to buy a Green Dot card and put money on it.
"Once you give them that credit card number, that money is gone off that card," Adkison said. "It takes 10 seconds and that money is gone. You have no hopes of getting that money back."
The callers are apparently using some type of spoofing software or an electronic router system to try and trick residents into thinking the calls are legitimate.
"Some way they are altering that caller ID to display the false number," Adkison said.
IRS officials are well aware of this scam and said they will never call taxpayers saying they owe money; they will normally notify you by mail.
Authorities said if you get one of these calls, try and get as much information from the person on the other end and then hang up and call local police.
Also on Monday, a Murfreesboro woman received a call from a man claiming to be a sheriff's deputy and then a lawyer, and said the woman owes money from an accident.
A business owner received a call from someone claiming to be from the Murfreesboro Electric Department and said she owes money.
Both women outsmarted the callers and notified police.
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