(FOX40.COM) — The Sacramento Police Department is calling attention to a scam that has been circulating the Northern California area since October.

According to police, scammers have been targeting people by claiming to be Sacramento Police officers.
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The offenders will change their phone numbers to appear as if it’s coming from the police department and then impersonate officers until they extract personal information from their victims.

“As a reminder, SPD will never demand money, gift cards, or personal information over the phone such as passwords, account numbers, or your social security number,” Sacramento Police said in a social media post.

The agency added that if you do receive a call or text from someone claiming to be a police officer, do the following:

  • Collect their name
  • Collect their badge number
  • Find out what department they work for
  • Call your local police department’s non-emergency line to verify their identity (Sacramento Police Department non-emergency phone number: 916-808-5471)

As Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas get closer, Californians should be extra vigilant as scammers tend to increase their activity around this time of year.

According to AARP, 3/4 of U.S. consumers have experienced or been targeted by at least one form of fraud that can be tied to the holidays, including requests from (often fake) charities, online shopping scams, and fraudulent communications about shipping problems.