VIDEO: Police chief plays along with phone scammer’s con

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DANVILLE, Ind. (June 11, 2015) -- A central Indiana police chief decided to turn a scam call into a joke that he hopes will resonate.

Danville Police Chief Bill Wright and his wife were driving back from an event, when she got a call from an unknown number.

"The reason of this call is to inform you that you have been selected by the federal government to receive a grant of $7,000," the caller said.

"I immediately recognized it as being a scam," Wright said.

Instead of hanging up, though, he decided to have some fun. He started recording a video of the exchange on his own phone.

"Ah!" Wright screams several times in the video, "I won!"

The caller tells Wright that's he is part of a select group of people.

"The government checked all your accounts and you have been a low taxpayer so this is like a tax refund which you never, ever have to pay back in your whole life," the caller said.

He's told to write down a number and go to Western Union, where a supervisor will help him get his money.

It's a scam call that Attorney General Greg Zoeller recognized right away. Happening across the country, the scammer typically makes a "winner" wire money before receiving their supposed payday.

"It’s that emergency, 'You must do something right now,' that’s a clear red flag," Zoeller said.

The government will never call you, Zoeller said. You can also spot a scam by any winnings you never applied for, or if you have to give up any of your own money in order to receive your winnings.

Wright's video goes on for three minutes before the scammer gets what is going on and doesn't have very kind words for him.

"You can stick that money up your (expletive), okay?" the scammer said.

As for Wright, he said it was his mission to take up more of the scammer's time, that could've been spent scamming another person, and to make the public more aware since he and his department see people fall for scam calls often.

"It was done as much to let people know what’s going on as much as we did it for fun. ... They absolutely picked the wrong person," Wright said.

Next week, the FCC will vote on a proposal to allow phone companies to put in better blocking techniques for land lines. Zoeller encouraged anyone who's ever received a scam call to contact the FCC and encourage them to vote yes.

You can also report a scam at the website here.

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