TPD warns of officer impersonating phone scam

by: Sara Whaley Updated:

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TULSA, Okla. —

Police want Tulsans aware of a cop impersonator.

They say someone is acting as an officer and trying to take your money.

FOX23 spoke with a woman who almost fell for the scam and the detective being impersonated.

He goes to work every day looking to solve crime, but now someone’s using his name to create it.

“It makes me mad,” Cpl. Matt Hart told FOX23.

Barbi Cherry’s phone rang around 8 p.m. Friday evening.

“A man said this is Cpl. Matt Hart with the Tulsa Police Department.”

But in reality, the actual Cpl. Matt Hart was not on the other end of the line.

It was a scammer.

Cherry said the thief told her she missed jury duty, and that she would be arrested if she didn’t pay up.

The man asked her to go to a nearby store like Walgreens, and put nearly $1,000 on a voucher he could later access.

“Everything he said lined up. He even gave me a website.”

Very convincing, if you don’t know how the police department works.

That’s why Hart wants people informed.

“We do on occasions for minor offenses call folks and say, ‘hey you have a warrant and you need to come into the appropriate court,’ whether it’s municipal court or district court, but a police officer will never ask you for money,” Hart said.

Cherry debated her options.

“I have a friend of mine, and I called her and said ‘pray … I think I am going to be arrested.”

However, she decided it would be better to pay than go to jail.

She was ready to put money on the third-party voucher, until that friend called her back.

“She had went to the police department,” Cherry said. “She said, ‘Bambi don’t do it, it’s a scam.’”

Now, the real Cpl. Hart is looking for the scammer.

“I don’t think that was a very smart decision on his part.”

Police believe the scammer got Hart’s information off the Tulsa Police Department website.

They are now making a few changes to that website to make sure it doesn’t happen again.