Exeter Police Department warning community of fake police officer scam

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A phone scam making its way through Tulare County is praying on a parent's worst fear.

"That person advised her that her daughter had been in an accident of some sort," says Exeter Police Sgt. Bret Inglehart.

Exeter police say earlier this week, a woman in Three Rivers got a call from someone claiming to be with the Exeter Police Department.

According to Inglehart, the caller said her daughter was severely injured in an accident.

They proceeded to ask for her personal information, like date of birth and social security. Before she could respond, the call dropped.

"The person never attempted to re-contact her and then obviously concerned, she contacted us," Inglehart said.

Inglehart says they've had reports of scams just like this one in the past. He adds officers don't typically ask for personal information over the phone.

They prefer to meet in person. The same applies when it comes to notifying someone about a serious accident.

"Even if it is outside of our jurisdiction, we will contact fellow allied agencies and they will make notification on our behalf," he said.

If you do get a call, Ingelhart says collect whatever information you can and report it to your local law enforcement.

In this case, the number used was not registered to anyone. According to Ingelhart, sometimes the callers aren't even local.

They could be out of state or outside the country.

Officers say the best way you can protect yourself in this situation is by taking the callers information and then tell them you are going to call the agency they claim to be from to verify who they are.
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