Cambridge Police Department warns local businesses against schemes targeting employees

The Cambridge Police Department wants to inform local businesses of a fake money scheme involving a forged Cambridge Police phone number that recently victimized two businesses for thousands of dollars.

In both cases, employees of local Cambridge businesses were called by a suspect claiming to be Lieutenant Lockley of the Cambridge Police Department. The suspect alleged that they were investigating a counterfeit money scheme. The caller ID showed “Cambridge Police” and the phone number “617-349-3300”, the real Cambridge Police Service non-emergency business number which was spoofed by the suspect(s).

The suspect(s) instructed the employees to collect all available cash currently in their business, as the cash was to be investigated for counterfeit activity. The two employees were then informed that the company’s bank account had been frozen due to a counterfeiting issue and that to unfreeze it, the money had to be converted into gift cards. Green Dot MoneyPak and Amazon gift cards were purchased by employees at various local stores, where the cards are available. The PIN numbers associated with the cards were then provided over the phone to the suspect(s), allowing the suspect(s) to anonymously extract the value of the cards without being identified. Both companies subsequently reported this activity to Cambridge Police Service and an investigation into both incidents is still ongoing.

Tips for businesses:

  • Understand that your employees who handle monetary transactions may be targeted.
  • Beware of emergency requests and fake phone numbers and email addresses. Scammers can fake a caller ID to make it look like they are calling from the police department or even your own number. Don’t rely on caller ID.
  • Pick up the phone and check the legitimate organizations.
  • Never provide your personal information, including your business bank account information, to anyone you don’t know and trust.
  • Don’t send money to someone you haven’t met and have no reason to trust. Prepaid cards are like paying cash – once the money runs out, you can’t get it back.
  • If you are the victim of fraud, act quickly, contact your bank and report it to your local police department and IC3.gov.


As a reminder, a police department and local, state, or federal law enforcement agency will never call a business to ask for its financial information over the phone or request payments made through gift cards. If you don’t recognize a phone number, the best thing to do is to let it go to voicemail or hang up immediately. If it’s important, the caller will leave a message and you can always call back.

The Cambridge Police Service has published a comprehensive guide which details all about scams and frauds, what each encompasses, the techniques used by suspects and the strategies you can use to protect yourself. To download this free guide, go to cambridgema.gov/cpd/communityresources/CrimePrevention/studentguidetofraudscams.


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