TARGET 8: Phone scam spoofing numbers, tricking callers

10 months 1 week 1 day 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
BEAVER DAM, Wis. (AP) — Sprint car driver Jason Johnson has died following a crash at Beaver Dam Raceway in... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 3:52:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 17-year-old from Jefferson City will be competing at the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin in August.... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in Sports
(CNN) - Partial results in Turkey's snap elections put President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party in the lead, lifting... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Bikers Against Child Abuse group met with children to discuss past altercations with abusers in their... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 9:04:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Power was restored at approximately 9:00 AM CT Sunday morning for most customers in the affected areas. ... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:53:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has saved money and reduced emissions through its long-term energy efficiency programs. The university has reduced... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS - An attorney is suing a nonprofit group connected to former Gov. Eric Greitens for its records. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:52:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Outside a sprawling mall in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, young single men and women walk... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 6:21:17 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One softball player is setting her team up for success before she leaves for college. On Saturday,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 4:54:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The discussion on community policing continues to ripple through Columbia after a citywide meeting Saturday. The City... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the shooting death of a man near a house in... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant by its owner... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:47:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The wife of a former University of Missouri football coach is helping her husband remember the details... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:18:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Reaching all generations was the goal of one Columbia woman on Saturday. Cheryl Miller is the president... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 1:03:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Two teenage boys suffered serious injuries in an ATV accident Friday night, according to the Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:34:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A national gathering in St. Louis in September will focus on election security. Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 7:54:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
FULTON - The city of Fulton kicked off their annual Street Festival in style Friday with live music, a carnival,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:23:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 8:41:21 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
12am 75°
1am 75°
2am 74°
3am 73°