Someone called a Boonville resident pretending to be a Boonville Police officer and using the police department’s phone number, the department reported last week.

The scam call showed up on the recipient’s caller I.D. as from the Boonville Police Department at 660-882-2727. A woman identified herself to the recipient as Detective Hamm and told them to meet her at the department to discuss charges, according to the department.

The department will sometimes call people to ask them to come to the police department, but this wasn’t a legitimate call, according to the department. Scammers can fake a number to make it look like they are calling from somewhere like the police department.

Anyone who is unsure if a call from the police is legitimate should politely say they will call back and then call the department at 660-882-2727 to check if it was a legitimate call, Boonville Police Capt. Joe Pangburn said.

The department doesn’t know of the caller’s intentions, but setting up a meeting at the police department was probably just the first step, Pangburn said. It’s possible the caller would have called back later offering to cancel the meeting if the recipient sent over money, he said. Pangburn said the Boone County Sheriff’s Department gets similar calls frequently, in which callers will say the potential victim has pending charges or a warrant issued for their arrest.

“Eventually, what it comes down to is they want some money,” Pangburn said. “They’ll say, ‘You don’t have to go to jail if you pay me now.’”