TARGET 8: Phone scam spoofing numbers, tricking callers

2 months 1 week 18 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
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis Community College professor was grabbed from behind by an officer, pulled to the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 1:33:18 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - The Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel (MASFAP) is celebrating 50 years of providing greater access to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 1:09:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City's efforts to obtain $40 million in federal funding to replace an important bridge are... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 10:43:44 AM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Center Project, mid-Missouri's LGBTQ community center, will provide free health care and behavioral health services Saturday to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 7:20:00 AM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Local charity Pink Pursuit raises money to provide mammograms on a van that travels across Missouri. "I... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 3:25:00 AM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone and Callaway County has a new circuit judge. Judge J. Hasbrouck “Brouck” Jacobs will preside over... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 8:04:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missouri high school football teams are kicking off the final week of Friday Night Fever. In our FNF... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:51:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri kicked off its 106th Homecoming game day early Saturday morning with a parade full... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:38:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Fight for the First documentary was shown at the Missouri theatre for donors and students Friday. The film... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from the last week of the high school football season. Final scores will be in... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:27:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Nigerian citizen living in St. Louis has been sentenced to six and a half years... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:01:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - #MeToo started as a tweet and turned into an international discussion on sexual harassment. Columbia resident Macy... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 5:52:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is attracting attention for its innovation in collegiate eSports. From having the first varsity collegiate all-woman eSports... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:45:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
MEXICO – A former teacher pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of sexual contact with a student. Robert Cortez,... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:04:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - Namaste Health Care alerted 1,600 patients to a security breach that happened the weekend of Aug. 12-13. A... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin announced that October 20 th would be recognized every year as Buckle... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:42:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, city officials... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:10:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Volunteers from the city and community spent the day picking up litter, clearing branches and cleaning sidewalks in... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 1:55:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 47°
7am 46°
8am 45°
9am 49°
10am 51°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
7:00a
Maury
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
The Brave
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld