Fake, or "scam" calls are nothing new. There have been alerts for years about scammers working the phones, pretending to be someone else, all in an effort to get your money and/or personal information for their own financial gain.

But there's something even more sinister about these bad guys adding a new twist to an old scam--pretending to actually be calling from the local police department. Other cities have had to deal with the problem, and now the Rockford area and the Rockford Police Department are having to deal with it, too.

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He doesn't really have a beard. And, he's not a cop, either. (Getty Images)

Some Phone Scammers Will Try To Be Your Friend And Sweet-Talk You Out Of Your Personal Information, Credit Card Numbers, Or Banking Information--But These Guys Play Hardball Once They Get You On The Phone

Movies and TV shows make it seem as though everyone has an angle and is willing to bend if not break laws to get what they want, but in real life, most of us are honest, law-abiding citizens who don't ever want any trouble with the law.

That's what makes this scam successful. The scammers know that if you think it's the police calling, you'll do just about anything they say to keep yourself from having problems with law enforcement. That's how they grab victim after victim.

It's gotten bad enough that the Rockford Police Department felt that it was completely necessary to issue a warning to the local community:

Telephone scammer.Phone fraud.
You know that he's serious, what with the hoodie and all. (Getty Images)

The Bottom Line, As The Rockford Police Department Says, Is That The Rockford PD Doesn't Do What The Scammers Are Doing

That would be calling you and demanding payment for literally anything. The Rockford Police Department does not call people and ask for cash or credit cards, and they most certainly would never ask for payments to be made in the form of gift cards or pre-paid credit cards.

Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB):

If you're ever asked to pay for goods or services in the form of a gift card, take it as a red-flag that you're being scammed. No legitimate business or governmental entity asks for payment in gift cards.

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