Westerville Police Warn of Scammers Impersonating Officers

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Westerville police are warning about a new scam tonight using the façade of a police program to bilk people of money.

Westerville police say the scammers are asking for money for the "Cops and Kids Day."

Jim Horstman says he got one of the phone calls from the 330 area code near Cleveland.

"He was calling from Cops for Kids.  I said 'Ok, I'm familiar with that,'" said Horstman.

He says his business, Great Harvest Bread Company, helps the organization each year by donating food for a September event that lets the community see firsthand the ins and outs of law enforcement.

But the caller wanted money, not baked goods, and wanted it from Jim directly.

Horstman called police.  They are glad he listened to his gut.

"That's nothing we would ever do, soliciting a donation over the phone," said Westerville Police Sgt. Brian Spoon.

Officers say they already have the funds for Cops and Kids Day and don't want anyone to fall for this scam.

"Its a horrible feeling for us because we work very hard to maintain our reputation," said Spoon.

Horstman says he called the number back a half hour later, only to hear it was disconnected.

Police want you to call them directly if there's ever a question about the validity of anything dealing with the department.