Police advise of phone scams involving callers impersonating law enforcement

Composite image | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Law enforcement agencies in central and Southern Utah are advising residents to be aware of recent phone scams involving fraudsters impersonating police in an attempt to get money.

The scam was perpetrated on a Cedar City resident Friday morning after receiving a call appearing to be from the Cedar City Police Department’s main number.

The scammer identified himself as Detective Mendon and told the citizen he owed money and would be arrested if he did not send the money, according to an advisory released by Cedar City Police Friday.

Police said there were two holes in the scammer’s attempt to deceive the citizen: No one by the name of Detective Mendon works at the Cedar City Police Department and the department doesn’t collect money — fines are collected by the courts.

We can only surmise the suspects have found a way to ‘spoof’ the CCPD main number,” the advisory states. “If you are contacted in this manner, do not give out any personal information. Please hang up and call dispatch immediately at 435-586-9445.”

A similar scam has also hit several residents in Millard County.

The scammers have been calling individuals claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Office and saying there is an arrest warrant for not showing up to jury duty, according to a news release issued by Millard County Sheriff’s Office.

The scammers tell their would-be victims that they can post bail over the phone or by purchasing gift cards.

Similar to Cedar City, payment of fines in Millard County are handled by courts via certified mail. Warrants are served by the Sheriff’s Office in person, not over the phone, according to the news release.

“Please make sure your loved ones are aware of these scams so as to avoid them falling victim to such scams,” stated Millard County Sheriff’s Office officials in the news release.

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