04/02/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/02/2021 11:20
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The MNPD's Special Victims Division has received calls from persons victimized by 'spoofing', an all too common caller ID scam in which the culprits attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable information.
Victims have contacted police in recent months to report that they had received calls from an MNPD police department number and were told they were under investigation for sending sexually explicit photos to an alleged minor but if they paid the family of the victim, there would be no prosecution. The callers also use names of actual MNPD personnel who have been identified through public police websites or media releases.
Important reminder, no one from the MNPD will ever call you and demand money or personal information.
Tips to avoid spoofing scams from the Federal Communications Commission:
You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be extremely careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information.
• 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.