Police say a Woodland man lost $2,500 he planned to use for his wedding after phone scammers convinced him that he needed to pay off a warrant with gift cards.
The man, who remained unnamed by police, reported the scam Wednesday afternoon.
"Apparently the person who called spoofed the police department," said Woodland police Sgt. Jim Keller, noting that the number that showed on caller ID was the same as the department's.
"It's impossible (to track the scammer) because it's our office number that came up," Keller said.
The victim reported receiving a call from someone claiming to be part of the IRS, Keller said. The caller told the Woodland man he had a warrant out for his arrest.
He was told he could clear his warrant by buying $1,000 in Walmart gift cards and $1,500 in GameStop gift cards and providing the numbers to the Woodland police, according to his report in the dispatch log.
He was told that Woodland Police Chief Jim Kelly would contact him for reimbursement after he purchased the cards, Keller added.
After buying the cards, the man received a second call that showed up with Woodland Police Department number, and he provided the caller with the gift cards numbers over the phone, Keller said.
The cards were spent almost immediately afterward, and the man's money is unable to be recovered, Keller said.
"Unfortunately this gentleman took $2,500 out of his wedding budget," Keller said.
Keller said this case is a reminder for people to be vigilant of potential scams.
"(Scammers) use a bunch of different methods and ruses to try to get people to give them (personal) information or the money," Keller said. But "no legitimate law enforcement agency will request any type of services or reimbursement via gift cards."
"If there's any questions or concerns about a call (like this), just hang up and call local law enforcement."