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Lawrence Polic Department Warns Against Scam Calls

A phone call from a law enforcement officer can be concerning, but it can be even more concerning when a phone call is actually from a scammer.

The rise of phone call scams in the city is leaving many officials concerned, especially when these call scams are posing as law enforcement officers. Stacy Simmons, Douglas County Undersheriff says these scam calls in Lawrence have been a recurrent concern.

“It’s usually daily that somebody calls in and says that either somebody is calling them or they need to take a report because they’ve been scammed,” Simmons said. “Or, they have questions about scamming in general.”

In the United States, approximately 4.8 of phone spam consists of calls verified as scams, according to a global scam report. Simmons says that these verified scam calls often pose as familiar phone numbers to get people to answer.

“They use spoofing numbers and so what that is, it’s actually illegal,” Simmons said. “They make it so somebody when they recognize a phone number it comes up as something they recognize from that area code. People will answer it and it will say Douglas County Sheriff’s Office or police department.” 

Simmons says if Lawrence residents do pick up a scam call city officials will never ask any residents for money or incentives.

“Now they’re asking for Itunes gift cards or asking for cash and like I said it’s different amounts,” Simmons said.

Like Simmons, city officials advise to not pick up a phone call from law enforcement unless it is expected.