The Greenwood Police Department is warning residents not to give their credit card information to a caller impersonating a police officer.

Chief Ray Moore said the department received a complaint Thursday from a man who said he got a call from an officer named “Sgt. Austin.”

The scammer claimed the person owed money to Social Security  and should pay immediately by handing over credit card information. Otherwise, the caller said, officers from the Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service would arrest him.

There is no Sgt. Austin in the department, Moore said.

Caller ID indicated that the number came from the police, although it didn’t.  Moore said the scammer, most likely from out of the country, used an app to make the department’s number show up.

Moore said it’s not characteristic for police officers to call people prior to making an arrest. Additionally, his department does not take payments for fines over the phone. Fines need to be paid in person at the Police Department or by mailing a check, the chief said.

Moore said within five minutes of giving your credit card number to a scammer, your card can be used and your money stolen.

For more information, contact the department at 453-3311.

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