Consumer group warns of fraudsters posing as police - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Consumer group warns of fraudsters posing as police

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Collections agencies and con artists are increasingly posing as law enforcement officers to fraudulently collect money, the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois warns.

"Con artists are now posing as police officers, members of the Sheriff's Office and even FBI officers," local BBB president Steve J. Bernas said in a release earlier this week.

The consumer protection agency did not provide statistical evidence of the trend, but rather offered anecdotal accounts.

In some cases, callers will use clever means to make their caller ID tag show up as that of a law enforcement official, according to the release.

Suspicions should be raised when the callers demand payment by money order or prepaid debit card, as opposed to a conventional credit card, the release states.

In some cases collections agencies have threatened to have people arrested if they do not pay a lump sum of money.

"People can often be deceived by callers claiming to be from law enforcement agencies, so don't fall for their tactics," Bernas said in the release. "Consumers need to be very skeptical of anyone asking them for money or personal information over the phone and the BBB recommends to not doing it."

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