Mankato police warn of uptick in phone scams

Mankato Public Safety is warning residents of an uptick of money scams occurring by phone.

Police say they’ve received an increase in complaints of scammers using phone spoofing software to appear they’re calling from public safety.  The scammers are even using public safety staff names.  They tell the victims they have missed a court date or have a warrant for their arrest, then advise them to pay their fines via MoneyPak.

Commander Chris Baukol says the scammers have done their homework to sound more credible.  “They’re claiming to be a detective or someone that we have on staff,” Baukol said.   “And they’ve also done some research into our building itself, and they’re referencing things, such as our parking ramp.”

Baukol says there have been multiple scam attempts with at least one resulting in money loss.

Here are some tips Mankato police say can help you avoid becoming a scam victim:

  • Successful scammers often sound professional and use authentic-sounding language to defraud people out of money.
  • Government agencies will not advise purchasing any type of Green Dot card or gift card to pay bail fees or fines, or as a way to get out of a warrant or clear a citation.
  • If contacted by someone claiming to be from the government, do not provide any financial or private information.
  • If a call is suspected to be spam, hang up and call 911.

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