MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is once again warning citizens about a phone scam that is making the rounds in the county.
The scam – commonly known as “phone spoofing” or “caller ID spoofing” – is when a scammer uses caller ID spoofing technology to impersonate the phone numbers of local businesses or government agency in an attempt to get some sort of personal information or money, Undersheriff Marc Heckathorn said Tuesday.
Several recent instances of “phone spoofing” that have been reported involve a scammer calling from what appears to be the county’s main phone number of (541) 475-6520 and impersonating a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office employee, in an attempt to get money from an individual.
In each instance, the scammer claimed that he worked for the Sheriff’s Office and that he needed to collect money or a warrant would be issued for their arrest.
“This is a scam we’ve seen numerous times this year in Jefferson County, where the scammer pretends to be in a position of authority to scare people into giving them money,” Heckathorn said.
“I just want to reiterate that this is not a tactic that our office or any Sheriff’s Office in the state would ever use. We do not contact people over the phone and tell them to pay a fee or face arrest," he said.
Here are some additional tips from the Better Business Bureau on what to do if a scammer calls:
• Hang up – don’t press any buttons and, if you received a voicemail, don’t call the scammer back. We all like to have the last word, but returning the phone call may just give the scammer information they can use.
• Don’t trust caller ID – scammers have technology that lets them display any number or organization name on your screen.
• Never give out any financial information – if you did not initiate the call, do not provide bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers over the phone unless you have thoroughly done your research and verified the caller.