TARGET 8: Phone scam spoofing numbers, tricking callers

2 months 1 day 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
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A man who served 23 years in prison for a double murder in Kansas City,... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 13 2017 Oct 13, 2017 Friday, October 13, 2017 11:25:00 AM CDT October 13, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Authorities have canceled an endangered silver advisory for 81-year-old John Christie. Christie has been located safe. ... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 13 2017 Oct 13, 2017 Friday, October 13, 2017 11:13:00 AM CDT October 13, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — A Sedalia man convicted of second-degree murder this summer is seeking a lesser sentence for the crime.... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 13 2017 Oct 13, 2017 Friday, October 13, 2017 10:58:20 AM CDT October 13, 2017 in News
CLAYTON (AP) — Several dozen protesters gathered outside a hotel where Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was holding a fundraiser and... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 13 2017 Oct 13, 2017 Friday, October 13, 2017 10:16:00 AM CDT October 13, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A longtime St. Louis judge will take over as the city's director of public safety starting... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 13 2017 Oct 13, 2017 Friday, October 13, 2017 10:06:26 AM CDT October 13, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A monument to Christopher Columbus in St. Louis has been vandalized again just days after a... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 13 2017 Oct 13, 2017 Friday, October 13, 2017 8:29:36 AM CDT October 13, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri’s 2017 Outdoor Special Olympics take place Friday through Sunday in Jefferson City. The weekend’s state... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 13 2017 Oct 13, 2017 Friday, October 13, 2017 7:20:00 AM CDT October 13, 2017 in News
STURGEON – Families and friends are coming together to celebrate the lives of two girls who lost their lives in... More >>
4 days ago Friday, October 13 2017 Oct 13, 2017 Friday, October 13, 2017 5:30:00 AM CDT October 13, 2017 in Target 8
HARTSBURG - The small town of 106 people will get approximately 50,000 visitors this weekend. The 26th annual Hartsburg... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 7:31:00 PM CDT October 12, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA– First Chance for Children (FC4C), an organization that prepares children up to 5-years-old for kindergarten, held an open house... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 7:24:00 PM CDT October 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The Ellis Fischel Cancer Center will be hosting a ‘mammothon’ for women to get breast cancer screenings in... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 6:51:00 PM CDT October 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission is working to change the city's policy on short term... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 6:11:00 PM CDT October 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police officers met with community members during their Building Stronger Beats meeting on Thursday held in the Derby... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 6:05:00 PM CDT October 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is far outpacing potential Republican rivals in fundraising. McCaskill's campaign... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 5:32:19 PM CDT October 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says a new Missouri law doesn't provide the... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 5:07:41 PM CDT October 12, 2017 in News
Columbia - The Columbia Rugby Football Club is suiting up in a different kind of way for its upcoming Breast... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:57:00 PM CDT October 12, 2017 in News
FENTON (AP) — Authorities say a man fatally shot at mobile home park near Fenton was a burglar accidentally shot... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:43:29 PM CDT October 12, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS - Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal posted a tweet Tuesday criticizing President Donald Trump, comparing him to late Nazi leader... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 3:13:00 PM CDT October 12, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 43°
7am 45°
8am 46°
9am 51°
10am 56°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
6:00a
Page Six TV
6:30a
Cops
7:00a
Maury

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