The Durham Police Department’s Central District in downtown Durham has received more than a dozen complaints in the last few weeks about “spoofed” calls coming from the substation’s telephone number.
The callers tell people that they owe taxes or that someone they know needs money to post a bond. The calls are part of a scam and are not legitimate, the Police Department said in a news release.
“Caller ID spoofing” is a scam in which callers deliberately falsify the telephone number and/or name shown in caller ID to disguise the identity of the calling party.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of this scam:
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▪ Don’t give out personal information in response to an incoming call. Identity thieves are clever – they often pose as representatives of banks, credit card companies, creditors, or government agencies to get people to reveal their account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords and other identifying information.
▪ Callers seeking to harm consumers may already have personal information – don’t be fooled into giving them additional information or providing them payment, police warn If you get an inquiry from a company or government agency seeking personal information, don’t provide it. Instead, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company's or government agency's website to find out if the entity that supposedly called you actually needs the requested information from you.
In addition, police shared the following fraud crime prevention tips from the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety:
▪ Police and bank personnel should never ask you to take money out of your account or ask you to give them your secret ATM code. If they do, tell the bank manager or a police officer you know.
▪ Never allow anyone to watch while you use your ATM card or code.
▪ Do not be intimidated by salespeople or allow them to talk you into anything.
▪ If a deal or money-making plan cannot wait for you to check it out, pass it up.
▪ Read and understand any contract before you sign it.
▪ Deal only with local businesses you know.
▪ Verify door-to-door salespeople with law enforcement or the Better Business Bureau.
▪ Do not enter a contest or accept free gifts or prizes unless you clearly understand all of your obligations.
▪ Never pay for something you did not order or do not want. Simply refuse to accept delivery or make payment.
▪ Buy insurance from someone you know and trust, preferably someone who is local and has an excellent reputation. Buy only what you need and can afford.
▪ Never give credit card numbers over the telephone unless you initiate the action with a reputable company. In the wrong hands, your credit card number can be used fraudulently against you.