The Duluth Police Department is warning Northland residents of a new phone scam that involves the department.

They utilized their Facebook page Wednesday afternoon to provide details of the scam, which involves someone posing as an officer:

The Duluth Police Department has been made aware of a phone scam that is circulating the Northland. This scammer pretends they are an officer from the Duluth Police Department who requests to be paid via Venmo, otherwise a warrant will be issued for their arrest.
We want the community to remember that employees at the Duluth Police Department will never call you requesting to be paid via Venmo and to never give out your personal or financial information. If you feel that you’ve been scammed, call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357.

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As with most scams, this one uses fear to prompt people to part with their money. As the Duluth Police Department says above, they will never call anyone requesting a Venmo payment of any kind.

The same is also true for other businesses. For example, the Internal Revenue Service will never call you demanding phone payment. Scammers also like to pretend to be from financial institutions and it's important to keep in mind that banks will not call you for payment or to verify personal information, such as your social security number.  They would already have all that stuff on file, so asking for such information should be a major red flag.

If you ever get a call, text, e-mail or other communication asking for payment, or even asking you to claim a refund or other prize, NEVER click on the link they provide or call the number they give you.

The best thing you can do is hang up instantly on these types of calls or quickly delete similar texts and e-mails. If you want make sure it is a scam, simply look at where they say they are from and rather than use the contact information they give you, look up that companies official contact information and call that business directly. Once you explain what you've received, they will very likely confirm it is a scam attempt.

Sadly, there are people who fall for such scams and lose money. Let's get the word out on this one to avoid it happening again.

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