New ‘Phone Spoof’ By Fake Cops Is After NJ Bank Accounts
A Jersey Shore community this week warned that scammers again spoofed a real police department phone number while trying to steal from a victim.
Long Branch police said a woman received a phone call Monday that showed up on her caller ID as Long Branch Police Department (the main number is 732-222-1000). A male caller claimed to be an officer and said he was part of a joint investigation with the Social Security Administration, telling her someone had stolen her ID to rack up $1.6 billion dollars in debt in her name, police said.
The caller then demanded the woman's personal information including her Social Security number and details on all of her checking, saving, credit accounts. He threatened her with arrest when she declined to share the information, but she hung up without providing it and then reported the incident to the real police.
Long Branch police confirmed that the caller had used "spoofing" technology to make the call appear as if it was coming from the Long Branch Police Department.
Authorities said no real law enforcement or federal administrator would request such personal data over the phone, and said such sensitive information should only be shared face-to-face or via postal mail from an official agency.
It's not the first time that New Jersey citizens have been targeted, with similar spoofing reported earlier this year.
State Police warned residents in February of fraudulent phone calls also requesting Social Security numbers. In that scam, a caller posed as a State Trooper and the incoming call comes up as the legitimate phone number, 609-452-2601, for the New Jersey State Police Transportation Safety Bureau office, police said.
During the "spoof calls," a man with a foreign accent will attempt to frighten the person being called, by claiming that his or her Social Security number is associated with multiple complaints received by officers.
A month earlier, in January, scammers made calls that appeared to be coming from the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, pressuring victims to pay made-up fines immediately through a pre-paid debit card over the phone in order to avoid an arrest.