* 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.