San Diego Police were notified Friday about a new scam that appears to use the number for their Northern Division Headquarters.
A 10News viewer said he got a call on his smartphone Thursday while at work.
“‘I’m with the Criminal Investigation Fraud Department for IRS,’” Chuck Lewis recalled the voice saying on the phone.
“It didn’t make sense,” he said.
The San Diego man said he thought it was another phone scam until the caller threatened him.
“You hang up the phone, we’re going to come arrest you, right now,” Lewis heard the voice say. “You owe us $1,152 and you can either pay that now or go to court.”
Lewis still hung up, convinced it was a scam.
“I hung up,” he said. “Two seconds later I got a call from somebody claiming to be Officer Bailey at the Eastgate Mall Northern Division San Diego Police Department.”
Lewis said the alleged “Officer Bailey” raised red flags in his head.
The number that appeared on his phone had an 858 area code.
“Be down here in half-an-hour or we are going to send a team down there to have you arrested,” recalled Lewis.
He hung up again and decided to look up the 858 number. It was legitimate.
“It was the same address she gave me. Same phone number,” he said.
The number belonged to the San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division headquarters, but they didn’t make the call.
Lewis asked to speak with Officer Bailey but the person who answered the phone said they didn’t have an Officer Bailey on staff.
“I feel like I’ve been violated. Totally violated,” said Lewis.
San Diego Police said the scam isn’t new but the fact that scammers were able to mimic the Northern Division’s phone number is new. A police spokesman said all of their numbers are blocked and they would never appear in caller ID.
Lewis said he wanted to warn as many people as possible.
“They’re just bullying people. They’re putting the fear of God into them and scamming money off of them.”