A man claiming to be a senior police officer in Sussex has been demanding money from business in Brighton and Hove, the council has said.
A city council spokesperson said the man - who claimed to be a Chief Crime Prevention Officer - been calling businesses, and during the call the man claims that the manager of the business has previously agreed to pay money to support the police.
The caller then attempts to encourage payment by offering a significant discount for immediate payment; and if this is refused the caller will attempt to pressurise the business into paying, including threatening court action, the council said.
Sussex Police has confirmed that no-one from the police would contact a business by telephone requesting payment of money or asking for a contribution to the police.
Brighton and Hove City Council advised businesses to stay safe and alert by having a clear policy about who in the organisation can authorise expenditure or agree to make payments.