JOHNSTON, Iowa — The Johnston Police Department is warning about a new imposter phone scam targeting residents.

According to police, scammers have been impersonating a fake Johnston police officer and asking for gift cards. The Johnston Police Department says it would never call and ask for money.

Here are tips to avoid getting scammed over the phone:

  • Don’t trust caller ID readings – scammers often spoof names and numbers to make them appear like a local caller. 
  • Let numbers you do not recognize go directly to voicemail. And do not call unknown numbers back.
  • Hang up on anyone who threatens you with arrest, legal action or seizure of your accounts.
  • Do not converse with anyone online that you do not know, and certainly do not share any personal photos or information of yourself.
  • Hang up if anyone directs you to pay using store gift cards, money wires or mailed cash. These tactics are often used because they are difficult to trace.

If you receive a scam call, contact the Johnston Police Department at (515) 278-2345.