Caller ID spoofing is the latest scam that is growing rapidly in the Canfield area. It involves the practice of causing the telephone network to indicate to the receiver that the originator of the call is from a phone number other than the true origin.
''People are calling and saying they are the IRS or law enforcement,'' said Canfield Police Detective Brian McGivern. ''They tell the person they owe money, and if they don't pay right away, a warrant for their arrest will be issued and they could face jail time. They are scaring honest people.''
McGivern said the problem is, they are using official numbers on the caller ID. He said it could be a scammer from overseas who uses the computer to get phone numbers in a specific area, like Canfield.
Once they have their list, they find the local police department or even 9-1-1 center, and through spoofing, make that number appear in the caller ID of the person's telephone device.
''One Canfield resident got such a call and wired $4,000,'' McGivern said. ''That money went overseas. Once it goes overseas, it is lost forever.''
He said residents who get such calls should contact the Canfield Police to verify it is a fraud. He said government agencies and law enforcement agencies do not work over the phone for such legitimate calls. It is normally handled via mail or certified letter.
Still, the scam artists are good at what they do, and their intent is to scare people into sending them money. McGivern said there are two ways to handle such calls. First, a person can simply hang up, or tell them they are frauds and hang up. That would eventually eliminate any call backs.
''When you keep hanging up, they will eventually stop calling,'' McGivern said. ''As soon as you let them know you are not buying it, they will give up. They want people to converse with them.''
He said the same applies to emails. The scammers are using a similar technique of threatening the recipients into sending money.
''We have seen a huge increase in both the phone calls and email scams in recent weeks,'' he said. ''It looks like a new wave of scams, and people need to be aware and not fall prey to it.''