SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 21, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — Police are warning Salt Lake City residents about a phone scam in which the caller claims to be a police lieutenant and demands payment to avoid jail time.
State officials notified police Monday that scammers had been calling Utahns registered as sex offenders, using the name “Lt. Goff,” and telling them they are out of compliance with their registration, Salt Lake City police said in a news release.
The caller also informs them they need to pay him or face the threat of jail, the release says.
The scammer has been calling from a phone number with a 385 area code, police said.
“There is no one employed by the Salt Lake City Police Department with the last name ‘Goff,’” the release says. “The Salt Lake City Police Department will never call community members and demand money under any circumstance.”
Past scammers have used the identities of real SLCPD employees to “spoof” their caller ID and show an actual Salt Lake City Corp. phone number, police said.
“Community members should never provide personal identifying information, credit card numbers, or other financial data or conduct transactions after receiving an unsolicited request. The Salt Lake City Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies, will never demand, or accept, gift cards to satisfy a claim or obligation,” the release says.
Police advise community members to immediately disconnect a call when they believe they are being scammed.
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam should either call police at 801-799-3000 or fill out an online police report.
Utah law has specific requirements on when a person convicted of a sex crime or kidnapping must register their personal information with local law enforcement.