Bangor Police say a local resident was almost bilked out of a large sum of money by callers claiming to be with their department.

Imagine getting a call from someone claiming to be with the Bangor Police Department, who says there's a warrant out for your arrest. Pretty scary, right? You check the caller ID and, sure enough, it says 'Bangor Police.' Then, Captain Charles Harris, or Officer John Brown tells you that they can get rid of the warrant if you just wire a specific sum of money to them. Would you do it? Of course you would.

This is what happened to a local resident who was contacted by two men who identified themselves by those names. Police say the victim was traveling across town to make the bank transaction when they happened upon Bangor Police Officer Brian Higgins. The person asked Officer Higgins about the names he'd been given by the caller and learned that there are no members of the force by those names. As a matter of fact, the Bangor Police Department doesn't even use 'Captain' in their command structure. In addition, Higgins told the man that no police officer can delete an arrest warrant from the system in exchange for a sum of money.

Despite the caller ID, the phone call did not originate from the Bangor Police Department. The practice of manipulating a caller ID to display an incorrect number is called 'spoofing' and is a pretty regular practice for scammers.

Something else to remember when in a situation like this is that money wired to a location doesn't mean that's the only place it can be accessed from. Once a scammer gets the pertinent information from the cash card or wiring service, they can get those funds from anywhere, including foreign countries.

Anyone receiving one of these calls should hang up immediately, without engaging with the caller. If you're still in doubt about whether it was really from the Bangor Police Department, give them a call, but use their actual number, 207-947-7384, and not the number that comes up on your caller ID.

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