ROCKWOOD, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Rockwood Police Chief Danny Wright said the phone scam seems to have started on Wednesday..
"Calling our citizens and portraying themselves to be Lieutenant John Davis with the Rockwood Police Department. The scam was that he was telling these individuals that they'd missed a jury summons or had an outstanding warrant," said Wright.
The scammer tells people they must send him money to fix the problem.
Chief Wright said there's no Lieutenant Davis on the force and officers don't deal with money.
"We'd never call and ask anyone to provide money or funds, That's generally done through a court clerk's office," said Wright.
"They don't need to be out here doing this - they're really scamming people out of money that they can't afford to pay," said Rosalie Beaird, who lives in Rockwood.
"It's bad that it has come to that - that people will resort to anything like that to get money," said Barbara Curbow, who also lives in Rockwood.
Wright said as of Thursday, 15 or 20 people had complained about getting the call, and one person fell for the scam. That woman is now out almost $500.
"We all, as a society, don't want any trouble with the police or the legal system, so using that scare tactic a lot of times can entice people to participate," said Wright.
He said the scammer also seems to be preying on older people with fixed incomes.
The Knox and Shelby County Sheriff's Offices are also investigating similar scams.