(CBS) EASTPOINTE, Mich. - It's a technique used by scammers known as "spoofing" - and apparently it cost a Michigan woman $1,200 when a con-man posing as a cop threatened the woman with jail time if she didn't pay up, CBS Detroit reported.
Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham told WWJ Newsradio, "The caller is using an application - it's called Spoof - where they're able to put in another phone number.
"And in this instance they put in the Sheriff's main number [in the caller ID box]... which would lend to the person on the other end that this may be a credible phone call," Wickersham said.
The woman from Eastpointe made a payment to the thief via a prepaid money card, CBS Detroit reported. She later became suspicious about what had taken place and called police.
Wickersham said residents should be suspicious of callers requesting money over the telephone, regardless of what is displayed on the caller I.D.
He said police will never ask for bond payments over the phone. If you have an outstanding warrant, they'll come to you in person.
"Spoofing" itself is not illegal. However, fraud is.
"When they're invoking law enforcement's name, you know, the numbers and then trying to scam our citizens, we take this very seriously," Wickersham said.