Scam Alert “Spoofing”
On June 11th, the victim stated she started receiving a series of phone called from a subject threatening to have a warrant issued for her arrest if she didn’t wire him money. The subject on the phone identified himself as Lakeland Police Officer Blake Williams and advised his badge number was #B26. The victim advised her phones caller ID showed “911” and (863) 834-6900 (Lakeland Police Department phone number) on several occasions, which made her believe the scam, was true. The subject on the phone asked for $1800 to be wired. The victim advised him she could only send $500 and then she sent the Money Gram for $500. The victim advised she talked with a family member shortly thereafter and was informed it was a scam. Victim attempted to have the transfer stopped but at this time it’s unknown if the money transfer went through.
Detectives spoke with the victim and are investigating this incident. It’s unknown where these calls are originating from or who’s making them at this time. It appears the caller is using a device to make it seem like the calls are originating from the Lakeland Police Department which is called Spoofing. If you believe you have been a victim of “Spoofing”, notify your local law enforcement agency.
The Caller ID Scam
Public telephone networks often provide Caller ID information, which includes the caller's name and number, with each call. However, some technologies (especially in Voice over IP (VoIP) networks) allow callers to forge Caller ID information and present false names and numbers. Gateways between networks that allow such spoofing and other public networks then forward that false information. The caller is able to masquerade as someone else by falsifying the number that appears on the recipient's caller ID display.
What can you do to protect yourself against Caller ID Spoofing?
Don’t place all your trust in the Caller ID information presented to you.
Never give credit card information out to someone who has called you.
Don’t conduct any business over the phone if you did not initiate the call.
Get a call back number and call back if you are interested in a product or service.
Use Google to reverse lookup their phone number and see if it is associated with a known scam.
Don’t answer the phone if you don't recognize the name of the caller or if the caller ID says the number is blocked.
For additional tips and information, visit the FCC site at https://www.fcc.gov/guides/caller-id-and-spoofing