TARGET 8: Phone scam spoofing numbers, tricking callers

2 months 2 days 2 hours ago Tuesday, August 15 2017 Aug 15, 2017 Tuesday, August 15, 2017 3:21:00 PM CDT August 15, 2017 in News
By: Stephanie Sandoval, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - A different kind of phone scam is emerging — leaving businesses and others vulnerable. 

Now, there are even phone apps to help scammers steal your information. It’s called spoofing — using a different number other than your own to trick the person you’re calling. It’s not new, but it can be considered a crime in some capacities. 

KOMU 8 News began looking into this type of scam after a viewer emailed us: 

"The other day I got a call like that but it had a local number on my caller ID. I Googled the number and discovered it was the Columbia Police training division. I called them and advised that someone was spoofing their number to make sales calls. Twice in the past two weeks I have received calls from people who said they had gotten sales type calls and my cell showed up on their caller ID. I told them I did not call them. Somehow these people are able to put someone else's phone number on call waiting but calling from a different number."  

Under the Truth in Caller ID Act, it’s unlawful for any person within the United States to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. 

Private Investigator Melinda Kidder said if you’re in doubt about the identity or the validity of someone who's calling, hang up and tell them you’ll call them back. Then call the actual person directly or law enforcement. She said this type of scam is different because it looks real. 

“The caller ID gives it legitimacy to a lot of people,” Kidder said. “It makes it look like they really are who they say they are so when you see the caller ID as coming from law enforcement or a company with whom you’ve dealt, it looks accurate. It looks like it’s believable and that you should actually listen to them and pay attention to what they have to say.” 

The Missouri State Treasurer’s Office recently had an encounter with a scammer using its caller ID and pretending to be intelligence officers or special agents. State Treasurer Eric Schmitt said his office has zero tolerance for this kind of fraudulent activity. 

“We issued a release right away, making people aware of these fraudsters claiming to be from the state treasurer’s office,” Schmitt said. "And I think what the most important thing is for people to be aware is that we will never call anyone related to these tax issues nor do we actually handle tax payment.”

Schmitt said they are working with law enforcement and the state attorney general’s office. 

“We’re going to try to track down who these people are and prosecute them for fraud or whatever we can do under the law because they you can’t call and act as you’re some government agent asking for people’s money,” Schmitt said. 

Schmitt said victims of this type of call should report it to the attorney general’s office, but Kidder said this type of scam is hard to track down by law enforcement. 

“It’s harder for them to track down the original caller,” Kidder said. “They would have to subpoena actual spoof companies so but I don’t think it’s necessarily harder to report. People can go ahead and report it directly to the company that the person is spoofing or law enforcement.”

According to the attorney general's office, 4,068 phone scams were reported in the last five years. 

Spoofing can occur in many different ways. 

“You have so many ways that people try and steal your information whether it’s in person, by phone, by email, by text,” Kidder said. 

Kidder said it’s never a good idea to give out your personal information. 

“If you wouldn’t give it to your grandma, why give it to a stranger,” Kidder said. “Why give it to someone you don’t know so value that information and remember that this is your livelihood potentially that’s at risk.”

And if the IRS is calling, Kidder said you have nothing to worry about. 

“For them to call you would be extremely rare,” Kidder said. “You would already have some kind of case ongoing with them for them to call you. So, for the IRS to call would be unlikely. They would most likely send a letter and that in itself you would want to verify as well."

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A local committee dedicated an African American Heritage Trail Marker on Tuesday. The Sharp End Heritage... More >>
25 minutes ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:53:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- C-SPAN arrived in Jefferson City on Tuesday to meet with local and state politicians and middle school students... More >>
29 minutes ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:49:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A federal inmate with end-stage renal disease has been spared the death penalty for his fourth murder... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:27:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri appeals court has thrown out a $72 million award to a woman who claimed... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:19:21 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
TONGANOXIE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man and found three sisters whose disappearance in August from their Kansas... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:09:53 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man has been charged with shooting a St. Louis police detective in the shoulder last... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:02:35 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say deputies have shot and wounded a man after he pointed a gun at them in... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:55:26 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri is hiring the top Missouri state senator's chief of staff to be the... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:50:49 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House Ethics Committee is reviewing a complaint against a lawmaker who called for... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:44:07 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
CARUTHERSVILLE (AP) — Authorities are searching for two inmates who escaped Sunday from the Pemiscot County jail. The St.... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:31:27 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police records show there has been an unprecedented spike in gun thefts in Kansas City, Missouri.... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:17:12 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sherrif's Department will conduct DWI saturation patrols from October 16 to October 23. Deputies... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 7:00:00 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City inspectors have issued more than 3,000 property violations so far in 2017, and a new... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 3:31:00 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- A semi truck crashed over a guard rail on U-63 by E. Friendship Church Rd. late Monday night. ... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 11:57:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A crash on Highway 63 South left two drivers in the hospital Monday night. The crash happened... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 11:50:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – City council members approved the construction of two new roundabouts near Mill Creek Elementary School following a public... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 8:20:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - An unnamed organization reported to the Better Business Bureau that it lost more than $3,000 from a phishing... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 8:16:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation and Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety are challenging drivers this week to... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 8:00:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
4pm 72°
5pm 70°
6pm 67°
7pm 64°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
The Goldbergs
4:30p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
This Is Us
9:01p
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld