Sheriff’s detectives would like to raise the awareness of the community of an on-going scam.  Citizens have reported they have received a phone call from a person claiming to be law enforcement, who told them they had an outstanding warrant.  The phone number shows up on the caller ID as a valid Sheriff’s Department number.  The caller directed the citizen to purchase a pre-paid credit card to pay for the warrant and was provided a number to return the call.  Once the citizen called back, the person who pretended to be associated with law enforcement asked for the card number for immediate payment.    Thankfully, the citizens who have reported these incidents to the Sheriff’s Department became suspicious and refused to give the card number.  They successfully avoided becoming a victim of Caller ID spoofing. 

Caller ID spoofing is a service that allows a caller to masquerade as someone else by falsifying the number that appears on the recipient's caller ID display.  Your caller ID will show you have a call from law enforcement or a financial institution when in fact it’s from a scammer.  Identity thieves use Caller ID spoofing to get sensitive information such as, your date of birth and Social Security number.  Just because the caller ID on your phone shows a call from a bank or law enforcement, don’t be in a rush to give out personal information.

Here are a few tips to prevent you from becoming a victim:

•          Do not give out personal information to an incoming caller

•          Contact your financial institution to see if they were trying to contact you

•          Contact the law enforcement agency to see if you actually have a warrant

•          Law enforcement agencies will not have you send payments or purchase prepaid credit cards to satisfy fines

•          Report suspicious calls to law enforcement

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