Phone scammers now using police numbers to dupe victims
SOUTH BRUNSWICK — As phone scammers get more advanced they have now turned their talents towards pretending to be legitimate law enforcement services.
The latest scam involves people falsifying the number that appears on a potential victim's caller ID to look like they are from the local law enforcement agency, according to police. The process of disguising a phone number is called spoofing, and can be used to trick people to give away personal information, police said.
The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs reported being notified of a person receiving a call from a department's non-emergency number saying their identity had been stolen. The caller also said that "drug traffickers had bought houses and cars in their name," according to police.
The person who received the call then called their local department to confirm the legitimacy of the identity theft, and was told that nobody had called them, according to police.
Police are encouraging anyone who receives a questionable call to contact the department directly at 732-329-4646 to report it.
The announcement of the phone scam comes a week after police in Monmouth County warned of another spoofing scam where the caller ID shows the actual number for the Social Security Administration Customer Service Line. In that scam callers were told that their benefits had been "jeopardized and/or suspended," police in Middletown said.
"The caller knows your name in an attempt to validate the call and then ask you to provide you (sic) social security number, do not provide this information," the department said.
Anyone with concerns about this scam is encouraged to go to the Social Security Administration's website to get contact information.