Phone scammers posing as the Lake County Sheriff’s Office through caller ID have been threatening people with arrest if they don’t pay fake bills, authorities said Thursday.
The scheme, known as “spoofing,” uses technology to fool caller ID into displaying another person’s phone number.
One person targeted by the scheme this week reported receiving a call from someone claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Office and demanding payment of money allegedly owed to a loan company, according to sheriff’s officials. The caller threatened arrest if no payment was made, sheriff’s officials reported.
The call recipient, however, phoned the loan company, which confirmed no payment was due, then called the sheriff’s office.
It was one of two reported scams this week that purported to come from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, officials said. Spoofing has been around for more than a decade and reportedly has been used for a variety of uses, from benign pranks to dangerous ones, including sending SWAT teams to unsuspecting victims’ homes.
The sheriff’s office warns never to provide personal information to people who phone unsolicited.