Scam artists pose as police officers

CREATED Sep 11, 2013 - UPDATED: Sep 11, 2013

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BROOKFIELD - Someone is trying to bilk Brookfield residents of their hard-earned money, and they're preying on people's trust to do it. Over the last three weeks, several residents have received threatening calls, demanding money from people posing as police officers.

"They tell the citizen they've either missed jury duty, they have unpaid back taxes, or there are warrants either out for their arrest or another family member's arrest and they ask for money to be sent," says Brookfield Police Captain Phil Horter.

Captain Horter says the first thing you should know is that's not how his department operates.

"If law enforcement really wanted to get a hold of somebody," Horter explains,  "typically we're going to knock on their door."

Part of what police say is so scary about this scam is on at least one occasion the caller ID showed up as Brookfield police, making it that much more believable for victims.

We called one number a scammer left on a voicemail, but nobody answered on the other end. Police say if you get a call like this, don't send money, ask for callback information, and then contact your local police department. And above all, don't be bullied by bad guys pretending to be the good ones.

"I think a lot of people when they answer the phone and someone says ‘Hi, I'm from the City of Brookfield police,’ it certainly gets their attention," says Horter.

The scammers are going after as much as $2,500 in some cases. And it's not just Brookfield. Surrounding jurisdictions have had similar reports.