Fraudsters turn to caller ID ‘spoofing’ to pose as police
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Detectives are warning local communities after receiving reports of fraudsters using a ‘number spoofing’ scam allowing them to pretend they are calling from the Police.
On at least two occasions, victims were called by the offenders, using sophisticated software that allows them to change the number on the caller ID.
On one occasion the number displayed was changed to that of the real police number. The caller tried to obtain the victims National Insurance number and copy of driver’s licence.
On a second occasion the caller ID was changed to that of a HMRC number. This time the offenders tried to obtain £1,000 in payment for a bogus arrest warrant for the victim.
Two reports were also made yesterday (Wednesday, July 8) where a 70-year-old woman and an 81-year-old woman were called by people claiming to be from the police and attempting to obtain bank details. Although in these cases, spoofing was not used.
Detective Sergeant Tim Craven, said: “Fraudsters are always looking at new ways to deceive victims and spoofing the caller ID is yet another way in which they try to trick people into handing over money, bank details or other sensitive and private information.
“Spoofing is particularly worrying, as the number on the caller display is often the actual number of the legitimate bank, business or organisation. This often satisfies the victim that the call is genuine.
“We want people to be aware of this type of fraud and tell their friends and family too, especially elderly and vulnerable individuals. If you receive a call, doesn’t matter whether you think it is genuine or not, do not give out your personal information or make any payments.”
There are some simple steps that people can take to protect themselves:
Don’t assume the caller ID is genuine, even if it looks like the same number as the bank or official organisation. Terminate the call and call back, with a different phone if possible. Sometimes, the fraudster can remain on your phone, giving you the impression that you have called the number back
Ask the caller for their name, and if it’s a police officer – their collar number. If the caller is genuine, they will not mind giving you these details to allow you to check their identity is real
Remember your bank will never ask you to move money to a safe account, and the police will not ask you to pay a fine over the phone
Always trust your instincts and if you are concerned, then terminate the call immediately