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Rochester police warn of phone scam

Local law enforcement officials are warning residents to be on the alert for a scam in which someone claims to be a Rochester police officer trying to collect money for a relative's arrest warrant.

Sgt. Tom Claymon with the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office said on Nov. 8 an Eyota man got a call from an individual claiming to be a Rochester police officer. He told the victim that his son had a warrant for his arrest related to a traffic violation caught on tape by a red light camera and that it would be in his best interest to pay $386 right away or the fine would increase to $450 by Monday. The man gave the suspect his debit card.

After hanging up, the man got suspicious and called law enforcement. An Olmsted County deputy called back the phone number on the man's caller ID and pretended to be his wife. She was transferred to an individual pretending to be a lieutenant in the police department. When she identified herself as a law enforcement officer, the man on the line told her he was a convict out of California and planned to keep doing the scam.

"We're just trying to make some money. We've already scammed a bunch of people out of Rochester out of money," he told her.

Claymon said it is important to know that law enforcement officers never try to collect money over the telephone.

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