STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Police in Stamford are warning residents about recent phone scams.

As WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported, police said one caller told a man his wife had missed a court date after running a red light on camera and demanded money on a cash card, according to the Stamford Advocate.

Susan Grant at the Consumer Federation of America said it’s a frequent scam and any demand for money by unusual means is a dead giveaway.

“Sending the money through a money transfer service or putting money on a reloadable cash card,” she told Murnane. “It’s like putting cash in an envelope.”

In the case of the attempted red light rip-off, the caller said he could even connect the man with his lieutenant. But the scammer hung up when the man said he wanted to check with the cops on his own.

Police said another would-be victim was hung up on after she said she’d recently attended a church forum on phone scams, Murnane reported.

The callers often ask for money on debit-like cards.

“Green Dot and other companies are trying to work with law enforcement agencies but keep in mind, a lot of these fraudsters are in other countries targeting U.S. citizens,” Grant said.

According to police, the scam calls show up with a 203 area code on caller ID.

A message posted on the Stamford police Facebook page noted if anyone from the department contacts you, they will identify themselves immediately and will never ask you to purchase Green Dot cards or money orders.

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