NORFOLK, Neb. -- As scam calls impersonating law enforcement continue to target Nebraska residents, police officers share what residents should do.

Just about everyone in the country is aware of scam calls, where criminals attempt to steal a person's personal information by pretending to be someone they're not.

Often these scams pretend to be a bank or company, but a new practice on the rise is seeing callers pretend to be law enforcement to get social security numbers, birthdates, or financial account information.

By pretending to be an officer or investigator, the scammer pretends their targets may have been victims of a crime and need to provide their personal information to verify if a crime has taken place.

Captain Mike Bauer with the Norfolk Police Division said scammers pretend to be law enforcement to use their target's fear and trust of authority figures to make them feel they have no choice but to provide the requested information.

Bauer said it can put callers into a tough situation, but says there are signs to identify when a call isn't actually from the police.

"One of the big ones is an ultimatum," Bauer said. "'You do this or this happens' and the suspects are relying on the person's fear and trustworthiness to get that information. Also if they start asking for any type of financial information over the phone. If a person calls you, you really don't know who is on the other end."

If you believe the person over the phone isn't who they claim to be, Bauer said you shouldn't provide any information and end the call right then and there.

"Hang up," Bauer said. "It's very hard for people to do that, however, if you believe it to be a scam, shut down the phone conversation. A lot of people are reluctant to do that because we're too polite. However, these people are very skilled at keeping you on the telephone to elicit that information from you."

After hanging up, Bauer said you can always take a look at the phone number that called you and see if it is truly coming from their claimed organization.

Bauer also recommends not to trust caller ID, saying that it can now be spoofed to look like someone else is calling you on your phone's home screen.