Metro police provide tips to avoid ‘spoofing’ scam

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Phone scams generic elderly scams

BRISTOL, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 16: In this photo illustration an elderly person uses a telephone on February 16, 2015 near Bristol, England. The issues affecting the elderly, along with education and the economy are likely to be key elections issues in the forthcoming general election in May. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Scam artists are at it again, and Metro Police don’t want you to fall victim.

Many people fall for a common scam called ‘spoofing’.

Metro’s Domestic Violence Division has received several calls from people over the past couple of days. They’re getting calls and the caller ID says ‘Domestic Violence Division’ and it shows their main number.

The person is then told they were part of a human trafficking investigation and need to make a payment or face arrest.

Police said they will never call you demanding money or personal information.

Here are some ways you can avoid falling victim to a spoofing scam:

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
  • If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
  • Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes” or “No.”
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request.  You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
  • If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
  • Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools they may have and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device to block unwanted calls. Information on available robocall blocking tools is available at fcc.gov/robocalls.

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.

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