Callers want money sent to them, pretend to be calling for a relative.
The Delaware State Police issued an advisory in response to a recent phone scam trend involving a spoofed phone number.
The Delaware State Police was made aware of multiple incidents in which individuals have received phone calls which appear on their caller ID as coming from the DSP. To further convince the recipient that the caller is an official representative of the DSP, victims are advised to look up the phone number where the call is originating from. When the victim researches the number, it does appear to be a working DSP phone number.
Caller ID spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to caller ID to disguise their identity and appear to be an official organization or entity. 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.
During these most recent calls, the recipient is convinced that a family member needs money wired to them due to being injured, for payment of a traffic ticket or for bail. Scammers are convincing, and sometimes pretend to have the alleged family member in need crying on the phone, further playing on the emotional vulnerability of the victim. The majority of these recent calls have been made to out-of-state individuals from multiple states nationwide.
The DSP does not request payment for fines, traffic tickets or bail. These transactions are conducted by the respective court systems and never over the phone. Electronic payments are also never requested via phone for court matters.
If someone is calling regarding a family member, do not offer any personal information. Instead, immediately attempt to contact the family to verify their status. Indicators of scam calls are threats, orders to not hang up and other statements about immediacy.
The Federal Communications Commissions provided the following tips to avoid spoofing scams:
— Be extremely careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information.
— Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If such a call is answered, hang up immediately.
— Do not press a button to stop getting the calls — 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 answers.
— 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 someone who says they represent a company or a government agency is making the inquiry, hang up and call the phone number on account statements, in the phone book or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request. Most times, a written statement will arrive in the mail before calls come from legitimate sources, particularly if a caller is asking for payment.
— Use caution if being pressured for information immediately.
— Set a password for voicemail accounts. A hacker could spoof a home phone number and gain access to voicemail.
— Talk to the phone company about call blocking tools they may have and check into apps that block unwanted calls. Information on available robocall blocking tools is available at fcc.gov/robocalls.