Lewes – The Delaware State Police are issuing the following advisory in response to a recent phone scam involving a “spoofed phone number”.
The Delaware State Police have recently been made aware of incidents in which individuals have received phone calls from a Delaware State Police issued number. Only the number appears on the caller ID, and if that number is looked up, it shows that it is a valid Delaware State Police phone number.
Caller ID spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity as well as appearing as an official organization or entity. Spoofing is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally.
During these most recent calls the recipient receives a recording stating there is fraudulent activity on their Social Security account and are directed to press #1 on their telephone. Upon doing so, the individual is connected to an individual.
As a reminder, the Delaware State Police will never call on behalf of a federal government agency, request payment for fines, traffic tickets or bail. All these transactions are conducted by the respective court systems and never over the phone. Electronic payments are also never requested via phone for court matters.
Also, if someone is calling regarding a family member, do not offer any personal information about yourself or the family member. Immediately attempt to contact the family to verify their status on your own. Indicators of scam calls are threats, orders to not hang up and other statements about immediacy.
The Federal Communications Commissions has provided the following tips to avoid spoofing scams:
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.
This information was provided through the Federal Communications Commissions website located at:
Many of these scams are difficult to investigate. They will target persons of all age groups. The Delaware State Police is asking citizens to remember the tips previously mentioned in order to not become a victim of one of these scam artists.