TWIN FALLS — Trust no one — not even your caller ID.
Law enforcement agencies nationwide are receiving fraud reports that start with a phone showing it is coming from one number when it is coming from another, Twin Falls police said in a statement Wednesday. The fraudsters are circumventing the caller ID system and contacting unsuspecting people to get their money or personal identifying or financial information.
Police say the scam works like this:
“Over the past year, nearly every citizen who has a phone has received phone calls from what appears to be a local number,” police said. “When answered, the calling party, pretending to be someone they are not, attempts to defraud the unsuspecting citizen. If the call is not answered, commonly a message will not be left, prompting the person who was called to call the number back that is shown on their caller ID. The number called will commonly be a local business number or another citizen, who has no idea why this person is telling them they had a missed call from their number.”
Police said to be aware of these scams and to never give any personal or account information, or the numbers from the back of a purchased gift or money card, to anyone over the phone.
“If they claim they are from your financial institution, hang up and call your local branch or known credit card company number to verify they are trying to reach you,” police said. “Law enforcement and government agencies will never call you and have you pay for an arrest warrant to avoid being arrested. Someone who calls and requests that you buy gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or requests that you wire them money to avoid criminal proceedings is part of a scam.”