FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Fort Myers Police Department is investigating after they say a scammer called a woman claiming to be one of the Department's detectives.
According to police, the victim's caller ID displayed the same phone number as FMPD. On the other line, someone was posing as a detective, threatening to arrest the victim unless she paid a fine.
In this case, police say the victim didn't pay, and reported the call to law enforcement.
Cyber security expert John Benkert says this type of scam is easy to fall for.
"When you see something like FMPD, or Microsoft, or the White House on your phone, most of us think, 'Oh my gosh!'" Benkert said. "You don't even give it a second thought."
Benkert said anyone with a smart phone can become predator or prey, thanks to apps like "Spoof Card," which allow users to call anyone from any number. Some spoof apps even allow users to modify their voice.
Spoofing a phone number on caller ID to rip someone off is a federal crime, but Benkert says the loophole for app developers is simple.
"(Developers) tell themselves that 'we're just a fun thing you can spoof your friends and fool your friends,'" Benkert said.
Protecting yourself, Benkert said, is also simple.
"Never give out any personal info to anybody over the phone that has called you," Benkert said. "If you have any questions whatsoever about it, hang up the telephone, find the phone number of the entity that called you... and call that number back and ask them if they called you."
If you get a call from someone claiming to be a cop, police say to hang up and give them a call.