Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Many years ago, I had a police detective call me about an active investigation. He wanted to come over to visually verify that I had something in my possession. I was suspicious, and he totally understood. He said, "go look up the phone number for <police station in jurisdiction> and ask to speak with detective so and so, badge number ZZZ".

Here is a scam example of your anecdote that happened to a family member of mine, who was taken in for hours by "Police" in China (she speaks Mandarin).

They even spoofed the number of an actual police station and said, "Google the number on your caller ID to see we are legit". Obviously, call them back yourself.

Awesome. Always ask for a call back number. My dad was in his late 70s and fell for stuff like this. I beat the notion into his head, if in doubt ask for a call back number. If they they refuse to give it, it is a scam....period.

7 years was not enough for ruining peoples lives.

Did you actually look it up and call the number?

Yes I did. And a couple of days later, 2 detectives showed up, verified the item was in my possession and went on to the next person on their list. Incidentally they also marked the item by etching a number on it to make sure that they didn’t see it again, i.e., to rule out my cooperating with the person they were looking for.

what was it?

I would guess a firearm of some sort, as that's the only thing I can think of that would:

1.) be relevant to a police investigation 2.) be registered or associated with individuals 3.) have few enough of an exact thing in an area for the manual checking to be effective

you can also just call 911, tell them it's not an emergency, and ask them to connect you to the police station

I advise not being lazy and consuming emergency services if you can help it.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact