Scammers have a new disguise just in time for Halloween. Con artists are taking advantage of caller ID spoofing technology to pose as local sheriff's offices. They are calling residents and demanding they pay nonexistent fines.
How the Scam Works:
The phone rings. Caller ID says the number is the local sheriff's office, so you answer. The "sheriff" tells you there's a warrant out for your arrest. But you can pay a fine in order to avoid criminal charges. Of course, these "police" don't take credit cards; only a money order or pre-paid debit card will do.
What's going on here? Scammers are using a computer program that changes the number recipients see on their caller ID. This is known as spoofing. The scam is popping up all around the country, with scammers spoofing different numbers depending on the victim's location.
Victims have reported that scammers' trickery doesn't end with faking a phone number. Some reports say that scammers used the names of specific local police officers. Others said the con artists had personal information about the victims. For example, one Detriot-area woman fell for the scam when callers knew about a recent loan she had taken out.
What to Do if the "Sheriff" Calls:
· Never give out your personal information. Caller ID spoofing makes it very easy for callers to pretend to be someone else. Scammers have also posed as immigration authorities and representatives of utilities companies. Just be very skeptical of anyone who calls asking for money or personal information. For More Information To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.
For More Information
To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.
This Scam Alert has been sponsored by Western Union.