The Beaver Police Department is warning residents that there has been a large uptick in the spoofing emails and phone calls relating scams that have resulted in residents losing money. Over the past few weeks law enforcement has taken reports of spoofing calls being received from utility companies, banks and credit unions, and cable providers.
Spoofing: Spoofing is when calls or emails generated by fraudsters use fake caller ID information to disguise true source calling and email addresses. Scammers use spoofing to appear to be from a local or trusted number, or to hide their identity. For example, you might receive an email that looks like it’s from your boss, a company you’ve done business with, or even from someone in your family—but it actually isn’t.
Phishing: Phishing schemes often use spoofing techniques to lure you in and get you to take the bait. These scams are designed to trick you into giving information to criminals that they shouldn’t have access to.
In a phishing scam, you might receive an email that appears to be from a legitimate business and is asking you to update or verify your personal information by replying to the email or visiting a website. The web address might look similar to one you’ve used before. The email may be convincing enough to get you to take the action requested.
But once you click on that link, you’re sent to a spoofed website that might look nearly identical to the real thing—like your bank or credit card site—and asked to enter sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, banking PINs, etc. These fake websites are used solely to steal your information.
Recently, residents from all over Western Pennsylvania have been scammed out of a lot of money by spoofing calls made by fraudsters who will claim to be from your cable company or bank. For example: You receive a phone call from a number that appears legitimate because it’s been spoofed to appear as your cable provider. The fraudster calling tells you of a compromise that has occurred with your IP addresses and modems. The fraudsters are believable, and persuasive will and ultimately will request access to your computer and accounts, even directing you to a website that they control. In many cases the spoofing calls appear as your financial institution (fraud department), telling you that your accounts have been compromised and that your bank account passwords will need to be changed. The fraudsters claiming to be from your financial institution will request access to your accounts to assist in changing passwords, ultimately providing them access to your money.
Avoid these calls: Please be aware if you receive a spoofing call that appears to be from a legitimate number such as a utility company, cable company or financial institution advising you that there is a problem with your service or accounts. Hang up the phone and call your actual bank, credit union, utility company, and or cable company to verify the validity of the phone call.
Happy Holidays to everyone! Please stay safe! Report any suspicious activity to the Beaver Police Department.