In a press release today the Graham County Sheriff’s office warned of a phone scam targeting people in Graham County. On or about April 23, 2019 citizens of Graham County received a call from someone identifying themselves as a member of the Graham County Sheriff’s Office using current employee names. The caller told the citizen he had a current arrest warrant for $2,000 and said that if they paid the bond they would not be arrested. The caller ID was also the Sheriff’s Office general number of 428-3141, which is not the number that shows on a caller ID if a call was made from the Sheriff’s Office.
Citizens are reminded that this and other phone scam are being used throughout Arizona. Please do not give any personal information, account numbers or send money if you receive this type of call.
Caller ID Spoofing
Caller ID spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their 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 fraudulent activity or sold illegally, but also can be used legitimately, for example, to display the toll-free number for a business.
Caller ID spoofing with Voice Over IP (VOIP) works like this: The user opens the application (web or mobile) of an Internet phone provider. They enter the number they wish to call, followed by the number they wish to display. When they press “send” or “call,” the call is sent through a VoIP service.
What is neighbor spoofing?
Robocallers use neighbor spoofing, which displays a phone number similar to your own on your caller ID, to increase the likelihood that you will answer the call. To help combat neighbor spoofing, the FCC is urging the phone industry to adopt a robust caller ID authentication system.
Tips to avoid spoofing scams
You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be extremely careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information.
- Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
- If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
- Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes” or “No.”
- 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 or if you are at all suspicious.
- If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, 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. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
- Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
- If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
- Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools they may have and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device to block unwanted calls. Information on available robocall blocking tools is available at fcc.gov/robocalls.