Blount County authorities are warning people about phone scammers pretending to be local officers.
Sheriff James Lee Berrong said someone is calling people claiming to be an officer with the "Blount County Police Department."
For one, there is no agency called the "Blount County Police Department" in East Tennessee.
The Blount County Sheriff's Office said they received a report from someone who received a call from "Officer Hart" with the fake agency. The scammer then told the person they were scheduled to appear in court that day, and needed to send them money to avoid jail time.
The person realized this was a scam and immediately hung up.
"PLEASE DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM! The Blount County Sheriff's Office will never call an individual and tell them they need to send money, nor will we ask for personal or financial information over the phone. We also do NOT employ anyone by the name of Officer Hart," Sheriff Berrong said.
The Knoxville Police Department also noted an increase in cold call scams, particularly those targeting the elderly. It said many scammers use tactics such as posing as the IRS, a local utility board, police, social security and others.
"The list goes on and on, but the reason these scams work is because the callers put a tremendous amount of initial stress on the victim and that perceived threat and the fear of its consequences are greater than the value of the money," KPD said.
Law enforcement say no official will ever just call you out of the blue asking for money or personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission website, which is accessible here, has information to keep you and your family safe from potential scams. If you or someone you know falls victim to one of these scams, you can also file a complaint here.