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Scammers allegedly spoofing ISP phone numbers

Thursday, Jan 23, 2020

* Press release…

Illinois State Police (ISP) officials have received multiple calls from the public concerning suspected scam calls. Various ISP districts throughout the state have received reports from citizens stating they have received calls from individuals with a foreign accent claiming to be members of the Illinois State Police seeking their personal information. It has also been reported the callers claim there is some police matter that needs to be resolved which requires the would-be-victims’ personal information (full name, date of birth, social security number, etc.). Concerned citizens have also reported the telephone number where the call originated, matched the ISP District telephone number.

This type of scam is a common technique known as “spoofing.” Spoofing occurs when a telephone number is manipulated and disguised to look like an alternate telephone number of a person’s choosing. Usually the number is disguised to match the telephone number of a government agency that would typically gather personal information in the performance of their duties.

A few factors to consider:

    · Always ask the caller to identify himself/herself by name.

    · If an ISP Trooper needs to collect personal information from you, they will usually collect the information during an in-person interview.

    · Although there are certainly times when an incident will require a follow up telephone call by an ISP Trooper to gather additional information, e.g. a traffic crash investigation, an ISP Trooper will never ask for your social security number over the phone. The Trooper will also have knowledge of the incident you were involved in and your specific role in that incident.

    · Scammers can be very aggressive in their techniques. One of their most common used techniques is to create a sense of urgency and fear in their potential victims in order to gain their personal information.

    · If you receive a call from and ISP Trooper claiming to be calling from an ISP District, request the name of the caller and advise the caller you will call them back. Look up the ISP District phone number they claim to be calling from, then call the number and ask to speak to the Trooper whose name you were given. If there is not a Trooper by that name, please advise the call taker of the incident that just occurred. ISP District telephone numbers can be found on the ISP website: www.isp.state.il.us

An older relative of mine was recently harangued into giving up his Social Security Number by a nasty scammer claiming to be from the IRS. What a mess that is.

I installed the Hiya app and it’s helped weed out some scam calls. But spoofing actual ISP phone numbers is a new one on me and I imagine Hiya would confirm the call is from the police. I shudder to think.

The phone companies and Google and everyone else involved really need to step up their games. No excuse for allowing or enabling this stuff.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments
  1. - Or... - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:07 pm:

    Personal responsibility. I would never give personal info to anyone who CALLED ME.


  2. - the king fish - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:13 pm:

    if you have an iPhone they have a new feature if you turn on it will block the number, and put it straight to your voicemail


  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:32 pm:

    The scammers probably got the idea from the MANY calls I receive from guys vaguely claiming to be any sort of police or first-responders. The law enforcement community’s support agencies have been on the phone and at this for years.


  4. - A Jack - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:38 pm:

    The Federal TRACED act passed in December is supposed to be cracking down on spoofed calls. I would hope that the ISP has been in touch with the FCC regarding these illegal phone calls.


  5. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:38 pm:

    I received a call from my own phone number by someone claiming to be from the IRS.

    Being bored at the time, I took up some of their time. After a bit I asked how many people fall for the scam and they hung up. Hopefully they missed out on hooking someone.


  6. - Glenn - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:40 pm:

    “I may be screening calls. Introduce yourself.”

    My wife says this is the best message ever.

    Annoying BS calls have dropped off drastically.

    If someone doesn’t want to talk to someone who sounds mean, then they don’t know that I’m not mean, and they have as little time for me as I have for them.


  7. - Oak Parker - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:42 pm:

    I get a lot of calls from people claiming to be fundraising for police charities but I have no idea if they are legit so I just hang up


  8. - Ken_in_Aurora - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    Even if caller ID says it’s from ISP, its going to VM…


  9. - Montrose - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:55 pm:

    “Personal responsibility. I would never give personal info to anyone who CALLED ME.”

    These scammers work very hard to come across as legit and prey on folks that are susceptible to scams. Don’t blame the victim.


  10. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 1:02 pm:

    ==- Or… - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:07 pm:==

    We’ll see how good your personal responsibility is when your mind slips in old age. Hope you don’t expect anyone to take care of you either!


  11. - Steve Rogers - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 1:03 pm:

    If I have the time, I’ll stay on the phone with them for as long as I can, playing dumb, asking dumb questions. If I can keep them on the phone for 15-20 minutes, then that’s at least one or two people they can’t scam.


  12. - Barton Lorimor - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 1:20 pm:

    = I installed the Hiya app and it’s helped weed out some scam calls. =

    That explains a lot.

    To the post: I took a call last summer masked as *86, which is the Verizon voicemail number. They knew my first name and asked for my Verizon PIN to verify my identity before they relayed a message about my recent bill.

    They are getting more sophisticated. Act accordingly.


  13. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    ===Even if caller ID says it’s from ISP, its going to VM===

    Especially if caller ID says it’s from ISP :-)

    ===I’ll stay on the phone with them for as long as I can===

    I cynically think sometimes the spammers are the phone companies boosting revenue.


  14. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 2:01 pm:

    @Oak Parker

    The call may be legit. But the amount that actually goes to the organization is probably less than 15% donated. A lot of the money goes to the owner of the call center as well as the actual telemarketer that you spoke with. I would recommend donating to any worthy organization directly, not through a proxy.


  15. - revvedup - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 2:25 pm:

    until the FCC makes telecos responsible for phone spam (under the legal theory that telcos knowingly provide their facilities which are capable of phone number spoofing, and profit from line/circuit leases, remarketing,etc. alllowing said ANI/ALI spoofing), this will remain a problem. The alternative is a class-action to force the telcos hand.


  16. - FotP - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 3:15 pm:

    “If I have the time, I’ll stay on the phone with them for as long as I can, playing dumb, asking dumb questions.”

    This is actually a great way to get your name off the call list too. These call centers are all about the volume of actual calls, the more time you waste the less likely they are to call you back. I wish I had the time to do it, but I don’t during the work day. Just yesterday I received 5 scam calls, it’s getting out of hand.


  17. - Hiya be careful - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 4:01 pm:

    To match the information in your phone logs and contacts with numbers from the calls you make or receive, as well as with information in our database. We also may store this information for subsequent data validation for both you and other users of our Apps and other products;

    Glad my phone number isn’t in your phone Rich.


  18. - Bourbon Street - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 4:12 pm:

    I simply do not answer the phone if the caller is not in my phone log and let it go to voicemail. Not an ideal solution, but it works.

    The IRS scammers are persistent, however, so I can see how Rich’s relative fell for the scam. They actually left two messages for me about three days apart—very vague (I do not mention my name on my VM greeting, so they addressed me as “you”) and threatening. I wish the IRS did a better job in informing everyone that they do not initiate contact via phone.


  19. - West Side the Best Side - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 7:00 pm:

    Same as Bourbon Street, almost always non legit callers don’t leave a message, probably a waste of their time if they can’t get someone to talk to on the first try. If they don’t leave a message I then block the number. Do wish I had answered when I got a call from my own number, would have been interesting to talk to myself, something I usually try not to do.


  20. - leonard - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 9:07 pm:

    I get 10 to 12 per day one day I stopped counting at 20 usually they are from my own prefix that I get calls for business


  21. - Dorina Reichenbach - Friday, Jan 24, 20 @ 6:23 am:

    I never trust anyone who ask for my personal information over the phone, even if the numbers are coming from police department. I usually will just politely hang up on them and do a little searches on Google about the calls. Most of those callers with spoofed numbers are coming from scammers. I have just read some reports filed at https://www.whycall.me/760-810-4313.html about IRS scams. There are so many warnings have been filed by people about those phone scammers. We need to be aware of how these scammers work and keep spreading the word.


  22. - Independent - Friday, Jan 24, 20 @ 8:55 am:

    When I have time I immediately hit “7″ on robocalls, which most often connects to an operator. Like Steve Rogers the more I can keep them online the fewer people they can scam, and higher their costs become.


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