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Latest phone scam now on Bainbridge Island

Someone impersonating a Bainbridge Island police officer is trying to scam residents, city officials said Monday.

The scam — where someone uses the name of a city official and a local phone number in an attempt to get money from an unsuspecting victim — has made its way across the country and is now being used on Bainbridge.

City officials said the fraudster has technology that lets them display a caller ID that reflects a city official's name, along with a phone number of the person's choosing.

Bainbridge officials said the scam has been used multiple times on Bainbridge, and the scammer has been described as a “heavy accented” male. Authorities believe the calls are originating from overseas.

The con has been used elsewhere before. Fraud agents from local telephone companies have indicated that scammers have started to use the names of elected officials or other city staff as a ruse to get the potential victim to answer the phone or believe they are receiving an official call. The con artists use the names of all levels of government officials, including the IRS, and their use of an official’s name often happens soon after a city employee's name has been used in a local press release.

Officials said that Bainbridge Island residents should remember that the names of city officials will not be displayed on caller IDs when a phone call is originated from Bainbridge Island City Hall.

People who receive a call that might be fraudulent should hang up the phone and report the call to the Bainbridge Island Police Department at 206-842-5211.

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