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
COLUMBIA - A Supreme Court ruling that allows states to charge online retailers sales tax has Columbia businesses rejoicing. ... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:18:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge has decided in favor of University of Missouri graduate students who want to unionize. The... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:37:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – A man accused of killing a Moberly woman five years ago was found guilty of murder in the... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - Gov. Mike Parson met with President Donald Trump Thursday to discuss Missouri's top priorities. “I appreciate President... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:51:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri mental health advocates showed up at a meeting Thurday to voice their concerns about budget cuts... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:32:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Although "Shwe Market International Foods" mainly sells Asian products and "Chihuahua Mexican Market" Hispanic products, both stores have... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has appointed Latha Ramchand as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. She was dean... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man and woman Wednesday after a reported robbery with a gun earlier in the week.... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 12:00:35 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — A husband and wife from southwestern Missouri have been ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for cashing... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:22:42 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Fashion designer Kate Spade will be buried Thursday in Kansas City, where she was born.... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:36:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The black bear population in Missouri is growing, and with the growth comes an increased chance for a... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:19:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU received a one million dollar grant as part of an inclusive initiative from the Howard Hughes Medical... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:18:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
NEW YORK - All Mizzou fan's eyes are on the NBA draft, which begins Thursday night, and who will pick... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:09:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Last week, a giant dust storm on Mars took up about a quarter of the Red Planet. Now,... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:26:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Amid overall lower enrollment numbers, the UM Board of Curators will vote on the FY 2019 budget at... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 1:28:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
NEW YORK - Former Missouri basketball standout Michael Porter Jr. was selected by the Denver Nuggets at No. 14 in... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 9:29:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - After an armed robbery at Deco to Retro and Vintage Clothing on the Business Loop June 15,... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 8:52:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Sheriff's Department and the MUSTANG Drug Task Force seized 14 pounds of marijuana, four... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 7:40:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
12am 75°
1am 75°
2am 74°
3am 73°