LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Federal Trade Commission reported that Americans lost more than $2 billion in 2021 from imposter scams.

Officials said it’s a scam gaining popularity as con artists are convincing people that they might go to jail if they don’t pay a certain amount of money.

“I was so scared that I was going to be arrested,” said Sarah Rabe.

Rabe is referring to a phone call where a “deputy” said that there was a warrant out for her since she didn’t show up to jury duty.

The caller directed Rabe to transfer $2,500 via a popular payment app or she would be “arrested and detained.”

She later found out that the whole thing was a scam.

“When you send money to somebody using one of these apps, a lot of times you can’t get your money back because you’re authorizing that transaction,” said Melanie McGovern with the Better Business Bureau.

McGovern says it’s a common scam.

The FBI put out alerts this year, warning that con artists are impersonating officials from a number of agencies, going as far as to text and email victims fake badges.

“The thing that’s scary about it, is the second you think it’s law enforcement you’re not really thinking straight,” said McGovern.

McGovern said to be suspicious of calls, texts or emails asking for money, especially if they claim to be from law enforcement or a government agency.

“The first thing you want to do is you want to hang up and actually call that agency yourself just to make sure that it’s real,” she said.

Rabe is sharing her story, hoping to keep others from becoming a victim of this scam.