Most people know to hang up on con artists supposedly calling from the power company or the IRS, demanding money.
The problem has grown considerably over the years with the aid of “spoofing.” We have seen a huge increase in these types of calls. We have taken multiple calls regarding scam artists claiming they need to send money so they can get a loved one out of jail. Scammers are now calling people claiming to be the police.
But why would anyone fall for that? The simple answer: Caller ID.
We have people that are using “spoofed” numbers that are identical to numbers that IRS, utility companies or even local law enforcement use.
“Spoofed” calls are calls that come in showing an altered number on the caller ID. Due to today’s technology anyone can call someone with an altered caller ID. Altering your caller ID isn’t a hard task to do. Some of the simplest ways are with a free app on your phone to alter your caller ID. Some phone companies offer this as a feature within a phone package.
Our greatest advice to anyone who is solicited for donations is to give directly to local charities so you know where your money is going.
If you get the phone call saying a loved one is in jail, call to verify or ask a family member. If you think it is a scam, ask your local bank or police agency.
Far too often a citizen comes to the police station reporting the fraud after they gave away their money.
Always remember if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
Duane Weyand is Chief of Police of Wilmington.