Lansing police warn of scam

John Richmeier

Lansing police officials are warning the public about a scam in which someone poses as a Lansing officer.

Capt. Ben Ontiveros of the Lansing Police Department said local residents have reported receiving phone calls from someone identifying himself as Officer Smith of the Lansing Police Department.

Ontiveros said the caller ID systems of the people who received the calls displayed a valid number for the Lansing Police Department. But Ontiveros said the calls are not legitimate.

He said there is no Officer Smith who currently works for the Lansing Police Department.

The captain said he has heard of at least two cases in which the bogus officer told people they had been involved in criminal activity and he tried to get additional information from them.

Ontiveros said a police officer wanting to speak with someone may try to contact that person. But the captain said officers will not ask people for things such as bank account information, credit card information or personal passwords.

“We’re not here to try to collect payments over the phone,” Ontiveros said.

He said police officers also will not ask someone to purchase gift cards in order to pay off a fine. He said such a request should be an automatic red flag.

Ontiveros said people who are unsure whether a caller is a member of the Lansing Police Department can hang up and call the department directly.

He said people also can contact the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office if they are unsure about a caller claiming to be a Lansing police officer.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR