Authorities in New Jersey are warning people of an apparent phone scam where con artists pose as police officers and threaten to arrest victims unless they give them serial numbers for prepaid debit cards.
Bridgewater police say that scammers have been calling people in the area with masked phone numbers that make it appear that the call is coming from a law enforcement agency.
Once a victim answers the phone, the caller says there is a warrant for his or her arrest and that the caller can send money to avoid being cuffed.
The scammer then tells the victim to buy a prepaid debit card, scratch off the portion of the card that masks its serial number and read the number over the phone.
Once the scammer gets the serial number, they typically withdraw the money from the card, police say.
The money is usually never recovered.
Police say that people should hang up if they get a call from someone threatening arrest if they don't receive a payment.
Anyone who thinks he or she is being victimized is advised to call the agency from which the scammer claims to be calling.