EASTPOINTE (WWJ) – An Eastpointe woman says she was scammed out of $1,200 when a crook posing as a cop called threatening jail time if she didn’t pay up.

The woman believed the caller was police, partially due to a technique called “spoofing.”

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Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham explained: “The caller is using an application — it’s called Spoof — where they’re able to put in another phone number.

“And in this instance they put in the Sheriff’s main number [in the caller ID box]… which would lend to the person on the other end that this may be a credible phone call,” Wickersham said.

The woman made a payment to the thief via a prepaid money card. She later became suspicious about what had taken place and called police.

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Wickersham said residents should be suspicious of callers requesting money over the telephone, regardless of what is displayed on the called I.D.

He said police will never ask for bond payments over the phone. If you have an outstanding warrant, they’ll come to you in person. 

“Spoofing” itself is not illegal, but, of course, fraud is.

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“When they’re invoking law enforcement’s name, you know, the numbers and then trying to scam our citizens, we take this very seriously,” Wickersham said.