Both the City of Anaheim and Irvine Police are reporting separate instances in which people have been impersonating city officials to scam victims out of money.
Anaheim Public Utilities customers have received calls from scammers impersonating Anaheim employees, requesting over-the-phone payment, according to the city.
The impersonators are using a “spoofing software” that allows them to falsely display Anaheim Public Utilities’ name and phone number on caller ID systems. The impersonators then ask customers to purchase a “Green Dot MoneyPak” at a local store for a specific dollar amount, and are asked to make the payment over the phone using the MoneyPak number.
Green Dot MoneyPak’s are cash cards that can be purchased at participating retailers, and the cards work similarly to cash. MoneyPak warns of potential scams on its website.
Meanwhile, Irvine police are looking for two men who impersonated police officers and kidnapped a victim.
The victim received a call on Thursday morning and was told he owed back taxes to the US Attorney General’s office. The person told him to go to a local store and buy a MoneyPak with the amount of money owed.
The victim did not comply, and shortly after, a black Ford Crown Victoria pulled up to the victim’s home with the two men inside, who identified themselves as police officers and said the victim would be arrested if he did not go with them. The men took the victim into their car and released him to buy a MoneyPak.
The victim in the Irvine incident has described the two suspects as male, Middle Eastern men between the age of 45 and 50, both wearing black suits, a white shirt, and a black tie. One has black curly hair and a mustache, and the other has short, brown and grey hair.
Detectives are looking for additional victims or witnesses to the crime, and are asked to contact Detective John Sanders at 949-724-7244.