Beware calls from scammers claiming to be police officers

Los Altos residents have been receiving bogus photo calls from people claiming to be local police officers. The scammers are alleging residents may be victims of identity theft in an attempt to collect personal information.

Thus far, none of the seven callers targeted over the past week has fallen for the ruse, said Los Altos Police Chief Andy Galea.

“We’re really perplexed as to the intent of the phone calls,” he said.

Galea said the duration of the calls are short and police have been unable to pinpoint the source of the calls.

“Residents have been suspicious about the calls,” he said. “The good news is (the scammers) have not been successful at getting information.”

Galea stressed residents be aware of this latest scamming effort, and to call in to police if they receive such calls.

Apparently, the scammers are using a device that shows the Los Altos Police Department on the caller ID. In addition, Galea said the scammers are using names of individual police officers.

According to police, officers do not call residents to solicit money. “Even if the caller givers you a recognizable name of one of our officers, do not believe them if they are asking for personal or financial information,” police said in a July 12 statement. “If you receive one of these calls, hang up.”

Galea advised people wishing to verify officers’ identities to call the department at (650) 947-2770.

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