by Tina Johansson
Lake County Sheriff’s Office is alerting area residents of fraudulent telephone calls by perpetrators who represent themselves as county officials to serve collection notice to collect money.
These fraudulent calls are appearing on the recipients’ caller identification as telephone numbers used by the sheriff’s office as if the victims are receiving a valid call from the sheriff’s office.
“In fact, this is not the case,” warned Sgt. Christopher Covelli, the sheriff’s office spokesman.
During the scam, the fraudulent caller would state “they are an officer of the court” and need to serve the unsuspecting victim with a collection notice to collect money, according to Covelli.
The offenders are using tools to “spoof” their phone number, he pointed out. Even though the offenders are not calling from the sheriff’s office, they mask their telephone number to make it appear as if the call is originating from the sheriff’s office.
“The sheriff’s office never calls to solicit money for any reason,” Covelli stressed.
“If you feel you’ve received a fraudulent telephone call, contact the sheriff’s office to determine the validity of the call,” he advised.
For safety the sheriff’s office offers these tips:
- Don’t give identifying or personal information to anyone over the phone unless you have confirmed who you are speaking with.
- If you are unsure of caller’s identity, ask for their name and callback number, then hang up and verify the information via the internet or telephone book.
- If a caller is asking for someone who isn’t home, simply tell the caller they can’t come to the phone.