Phone scammers don’t stop ‘spoofing’, not even around the holidays

Don’t always believe what your caller ID says.

City of Warren police have told the Times Observer that reports have been received regarding scammers “spoofing” the phone numbers of UPMC Hamot and the City of Warren offices as part of their scamming efforts.

According to the Federal Communication Commission, “spoofing” occurs “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.”

City of Warren Police Chief Brandon Deppen said that the department received a complaint from a resident who took one of the calls.

“The caller asked the resident about credit cards that she had and was requesting card numbers and information,” Deppen said. “The resident hung up on the scammer.

“We want to remind people to never give information over the phone to someone that you do not know or calls you randomly. Always protect your information.”

The FCC says that “U.S. law and FCC rules prohibit most types of spoofing.”

“In some cases, spoofing can be permitted by courts for people who have legitimate reasons to hide their information, such as law enforcement agencies working on cases, victims of domestic abuse or doctors who wish to discuss private medical matters.”