The Champaign Police Department is alerting the community of a telephone scam that is currently active in the Champaign area. We have recently experienced an increase in reports from community members who have stated that callers are contacting them claiming to be members of the Champaign Police Department in an attempt to solicit money or access personal information.
Fraudulent callers are often able to spoof a legitimate police agency phone number and will then use the real name of a law enforcement officer in an attempt to gain your trust. It has been reported in our local area that scammers will then tell you the call is being recorded and suggest to you that you missed a court appearance, jury duty or there is a warrant out for your arrest, but that you can pay a fine in order to avoid criminal charges. They may also ask for personal information, such as your Social Security number. THIS IS A SCAM.
This is a common telephone scam where individuals are illegally impersonating law enforcement in attempt to access your finances. Remember, scammers use caller ID spoofing – do not always assume the number appearing on caller ID is legitimate. To avoid becoming a victim, always remember to never send money to anybody that you do not personally know and trust. Never give out your personal information, including your Social Security number, over the phone to individuals or entities you do not know.
We are reminding the community that Champaign Police will not call or email private citizens demanding money. We do not solicit money over the phone for unpaid fines, demand your credit card number or payment in gift cards for an outstanding warrant or unpaid traffic tickets. If in doubt, hang up. Members of the public wishing to confirm if they have been contacted by Champaign Police are encouraged to call us at 217-351-4545.
Scams impersonating law enforcement can also occur via email. Common hallmarks of an untrustworthy email include misspellings, missing words, and incorrect grammar.
The Champaign Police Department extends its appreciation to the community members who have reported an increase in this scam appearing in our local area so it can be prevented and communicated to our broader region.
For more information on scams and frauds and how to report them, please visit usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds.