Newport Beach Police warn of new phone scam targeting residents

The Newport Beach Police Department issued a warning Wednesday about a phone scam where someone is calling residents pretending to be a lieutenant from the department. 

In a post on X, the department said it became aware of the scam after multiple targets contacted them. 

The way the scam apparently works, is that the caller, posing as a police lieutenant, says that the victim has outstanding citations in the city, and then asks them to pay off those citations over the phone. When some of these targets called the department back, they discovered that the original calls were not legitimate.

"The Newport Beach Police Department will not contact you to request money and does not accept any kind of payment for legitimate services over the phone," NBPD wrote in the post.

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The department said these callers use a lot of tricks to come off as convincing. The scammers can manipulate their caller ID to make it look like the call is coming from a legitimate source, and they can get information on their targets from social media or even by hacking into email accounts.

"They'll pressure you or play on your emotions to get personal information or money from you," the department wrote. Though they said any payments to the department are handled through the front desk, which can be reached at 949-644-3681.