TWIN FALLS, Idaho (News Release) — Caller ID is very easy to fake, leading to a host of real threats from account fraud to arrest warrant scams to prank calls.
LE agencies locally and across the nation are being inundated with numerous fraud reports that begin with a phone call showing it is coming from one number when it is in fact coming from another. Fraudsters are circumventing the caller ID system and contacting unsuspecting citizens in an attempt to obtain personal identifying information, financial account information or money.
Over the past year, nearly every citizen who has a phone has received phone calls from what appears to be a local number. When answered, the calling party, pretending to be someone they are not, attempts to defraud the unsuspecting citizen.
If the call is not answered, commonly a message will not be left, prompting the person who was called to call the number back that is shown on their caller ID. The number called will commonly be a local business number or another citizen, who has no idea why this person is telling them they had a missed call from their number.
Just because your caller ID shows you received or missed a call from a certain number does not mean that is actually the person who called you.
There are smartphone applications (Apps) and computer tools used with VOIP (Voice Over IP) lines that fraudsters easily use to dupe the person receiving the call. Due to this new technology, fraudsters and criminals from all parts of the world can reach out and talk to anyone anywhere, easily concealing their true identity and pretending to be someone else.
The Twin Falls Police Department is asking citizens to be aware of these scams and never give out any personal or account information over the phone to ANYONE. If they claim they are from your financial institution, hang up and call your local branch or known credit card company number to verify they are trying to reach you. Law enforcement and government agencies will never call you and have you pay for an arrest warrant to avoid being arrested. Someone who calls and requests that you buy gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or requests that you wire them money to avoid criminal proceedings is part of a scam.
Never give someone the numbers from the back of purchased gift cards or money cards over the phone. The money will be gone within minutes and often times is untraceable.