Scammers pose as Newport police employees

Scammers are posing as Newport Beach Police Department employees as part of a ruse that involves calling residents to make them believe they've won money, authorities said Friday.

As part of the hoax, the resident receives an initial call saying that he or she won a large cash prize, but needs to pay a fee to claim it, police said.

The caller reassures the resident that the Newport Beach Police Department will follow up with a phone call to verify the legitimacy of the sham prize, police said. The swindler is able to alter caller ID information to make it appear that the follow up phone call is coming from the police department, according to police.

A second suspect posing as a member of the police department may contact the resident multiple times and sometimes will say additional money is needed before collecting the prize, police said.

Police said the department would never validate a call of that nature or encourage residents to pay an unknown third party.

Anyone who may have been a victim is asked to call (949) 644-3717.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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