Sheriff Cautions Against Phone Scam

Staff Writer

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports his office has received information of a phone scam circulating in the area, where the scammer “spoofs” the caller ID to show up as if a business within the county is calling, making it more likely for someone to answer the call and give the scammer an opportunity to gain valuable information. The storyline the scammer uses most times does not fit with the legitimate service the spoofed business provides.
Caller ID “spoofing” occurs when a scam artist causes a different telephone number to appear on a person's Caller ID display, then the number they are truly calling from in an effort to disguise their identity. This technique is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity.
“I urge you to never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious. In doing so, you open yourself up to identity theft and all sorts of other personal and financial issue,” Grey said.
Grey suggests hanging up if someone receives a questionable call from a local business number and call the business back with the phone number that is listed on their account statement if they currently business with them or a number obtained from the phonebook. Do not call a business back with a number the scammer provides them to verify their authenticity, as it is likely linked back to the scammer.
“We are fortunate to have so many exceptional businesses in Mercer County and ask that you continue to trust in them and continue contacting them for services," Grey said.