WASHINGTON - U.S. Capitol Police are warning people about a scam where someone is using their phone numbers as part of a “Caller ID Spoofing” scheme to steal personal information.
Capitol police say it is investigating several incidents where offenders are spoofing the phone numbers, which allows them to disguise the number that shows up on the recipient's caller ID display.
The internet and app stores are filled with caller ID spoofing software – with many offering free trials.
Police say the fraudulent activities include the suspects posing as representatives from banks, credit card companies, creditors or government agencies and requesting money from people to settle a fake warrant, to pay a fine or to resolve criminal matters. The thieves have also requested several payment forms including wired funds, bitcoin and gift cards.
But U.S. Capitol Police reiterate that none of their employees would ever request money over the phone. If you do receive a call and suspect the caller ID information is a fraud, you can file a complaint online with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine says the most important thing to do is verify.
“Always try to verify with whom you're speaking, even if it goes to the point of getting the number and calling the person back so you can attempt to verify who they are and for whom they work,” said Dine. “That's obviously very, very important, very basic piece of information. The second one is people should never, ever give any type of personal information over the telephone.”
If you do suspect you may be a victim of this spoofing scheme, you can also call the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC.