The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of an ongoing phone number “spoofing” scam in which the caller says they are from a local business or government agency. The spoofing scam appears to look like a legitimate phone call as the caller ID displays the number of a business or government agency.
The caller may attempt to elicit personal information or a means of payment from the victim. This may be done by attempting to sell a product or demanding payment by verbally threatening and intimidating the individual.
The fraudulent replication of a legitimate number is known as “spoofing” and enables the caller to disguise their true identity. “Spoofing” is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in criminal activity or sold illegally. U.S. law and FCC rules prohibit spoofing. We also remind people that if a local business name or person is listed, but it turns out to be fictitious, the local business or person had nothing to do with this and is somewhat a victim.
The Sheriff’s Office advises citizens to look at the caller ID as they have been doing and if they have not initiated a call with this business or person showing on the ID, then let the call go to voicemail. They say they have been in communication with phone companies about this and even though they are working on it, the problem cannot be entirely eradicated.
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls.
- If you get an inquiry from someone who claims they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request.
- If you are being pressured for information or threatened with jail time or fines contact local law enforcement.