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SALT LAKE CITY – A phone scam continues to leech money from new victims every day in the Salt Lake Valley. Police issued a second fraud alert to the public Wednesday.
Before you pick up the phone, check to see who’s calling. If the number appears to be from the Salt Lake City Police Department or even a utility company, be wary. The person on the other end might not be who they say they are, according to police.
Con artists are at it again, and a handful of people per day are falling for this most recent phone fraud.
They think that it's us calling them because it shows up as Salt Lake City police or it shows IRS.
–Salt Lake City police Det. Veronica Montoya
“We’re getting about six a day,” said Salt Lake police Det. Veronica Montoya. “They are actually following through.”
The scam involves callers pretending to be government agencies asking for your money.
“They think that it’s us calling them because it shows up as Salt Lake City police or it shows IRS,” said Montoya.
The scam artist tells the person on the other end to come to a convenience store and buy a prepaid Visa or “Green Dot Card.” The scammer then threatens to arrest anyone who doesn’t buy the card, call back and hand over the card number.
“We have no way to trace where this is coming from,” said Montoya. “We have no leads on that.”
If you do receive one of these calls, hang up immediately, Montoya said. If you fall for it, don’t expect to get your money back.
“We have not figured that out yet,” she said.
People of all ages and circumstances are falling for this scam, police said. The police department will never call a civilian directly, Montoya said.