SAN MATEO (CBS SF) – Phone scammers are impersonating police in San Mateo and telling residents that they owe money on warrants for their arrest, police said Tuesday.

A 65-year-old woman contacted police Tuesday afternoon to report that she had been called on her home line by a person claiming to be a San Mateo police officer.

The caller told the victim she had a warrant out for her arrest and demanded that she pay money to clear it. The call showed up on the victim’s caller ID display as the main police line at (650) 522-7700.

The victim refused to pay and called police immediately, but police are warning other residents to be wary of callers demanding money or identifying themselves as police or other law enforcement agencies, even if their caller ID seems to confirm that claim.

Police never collect money for outstanding arrest warrants or bail by phone, officials said Tuesday.

Anyone receiving such a call should hang up and report it to police.

Anyone wishing to check if they actually have an arrest warrant or confirm that the call was a hoax can contact police at (650) 522-7710.

Phone scams are common, and residents should suspect a call is a scam if they are told they have been selected for a special offer or won a prize, if they are being solicited for an investment, if they are being asked for their credit card or bank information or if they are subject to a high-speed, high-pressure sales pitch and asked to pay money for supposedly “free” goods.

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