Police: Don’t fall for phone scammers

Police are warning you to be cautious with your holiday donations after a resident recently received a scam phone call.

A Center Grove area resident received a call from a woman claiming to work for the Indianapolis Sheriff’s Office on Sunday night. The caller said the money would go to assist abused children, according to a report from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

Other residents also have gotten calls from the same number, and the caller claimed to be from the Indiana Police Department, Sheriff Doug Cox said.

Neither police agency exists, and the sheriff’s office suspects the call was a scam, Cox said.

“That’s the first red flag for us,” Cox said.

The resident refused to give any money or information to the woman over the phone, so she left a call back number in case the resident changed his mind, according to the report.

Deputies have tried calling the number that the caller left multiple times but have never gotten through to anyone, which is also a clue that the call wasn’t legitimate, Cox said. If a group or organization is asking for donations, they would have someone on-call to answer the phone or at least have an answering machine or voicemail, he said. And although the call came from a 317 area code, the caller could be in another city or state, he said.

If anyone receives a fraudulent call, they are asked to file a report with the sheriff’s office or their local police agency, since others likely have received the calls, too, Cox said.