DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The Durham Police Department is warning community members of an active phone scam in the city.

Police said they received a report from a community member who said that a caller contacted them claiming to be a member of the police department.

The law enforcement impersonator refers to the community member by name, telling the person they missed a court appearance. The caller states they need to send money or an arrest warrant will be issued.

Durham police said these scams can include spoofing a legitimate police agency phone number and using a real name of a law enforcement officer to attempt to gain the victim’s trust. Police also said that no government agency will take payments through a money transfer.

The Durham Police Department reminds citizens to be aware that:

  • Durham police do not call individuals to demand or request money from community members
  • The department or any other law enforcement agency does not call community members to seek payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants.

Durham police also give tips to avoid becoming a victim which include:

  • Never giving personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or email
  • Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason
  • Stay private and regularly update privacy settings for social media accounts
  • Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers to a stranger.

If you believe you may be a victim of these scams, police encourage citizens to file a report by calling 919-560-4600.