The Nutley Police department is sending out an urgent alert about a police impersonator.

Chief Thomas Strumolo says they have received a number of reports from Nutley residents claiming they received a phone call with a called ID that read "Nutley Police."

These calls did not originate from the department.

Residents who answered the call or retrieved a voicemail, were then directed to call a specifics officer at a different number.

Strumolo says the exact intention of the bogus calls is not clear, but it was likely the beginning of a scam.

One of the most common law enforcement scams involves a caller that claims there is a warrant out for your arrest unless you pay an immediate fine. Another would claim that a loved one was in jail, and needed bail money.

As these scams have become more sophisticated, con artists are using technology that allows them to disguise their caller ID or present it as something it it not.

Called "spoofing," the Federal Caller ID Act of 2009 specifically makes using a fake caller ID to cause harm or for fraud a crime. It also requires that telemarketers use an accurate Caller ID number.

Police Director Alphonse Petracco said in a statement, "There are people out there that are very clever at leading innocent people to believe what they want them to however, they will take any and everything you have so please be cautious."

If you receive one of these spoofing calls, you are urged to report it to police by calling 973-284-4940.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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