Police: Scammers using online services like Vonage to fake Caller ID

Posted October 3, 2012 7:55 pm | Filed under Local News, Police Blotter
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The York County Sheriff’s Office has released additional information about how an unknown managed to forge the number on a Caller ID screen, calling a Rock Hill woman and attempting to collect a debt on behalf of authorities.

Monday afternoon, someone repeatedly called a 51-year-old woman at work and said that if she didn’t pay up on a debt within two hours, she would be arrested.

Detective Chris Bowmar says criminals take advantage of internet phone services like Vonage to call US numbers from overseas and use a third-party service to spoof a phone number, much like what was done earlier this week.

Bowmar says from there, it is old-fashioned manipulation.

Bowmar says the caller identified himself as Adam Smith of the Rock Hill Police Department. There is no Adam Smith — and the caller was likely overseas and used an internet phone service like Vonage to impersonate or spoof a local number — in this case, local authorities.

Bowmar says that in any case of an unpaid debt — deputies would be showing up at your door instead of calling to collect over the phone. In essence, it’s a scam.

He scammers like this particular one use everyday tools to target a wide audience — and ultimately, get the money they want.

Detectives say that if you find yourself the recipient of such a call — call the number of the business, organization or agency back at its published phone number to verify its authenticity.

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