Overland Park police warn of 'spoofing' phone scam - KCTV5

Overland Park police warn of 'spoofing' phone scam

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Police in Overland Park have taken several reports from residents who've said they've received calls from someone representing the Overland Park Police Department.

Overland Park police are especially concerned about the scam because it shows on the caller ID that the criminals are calling from an official police number.

The scam may claim that a grandchild or family member has been arrested and in need of bail money, or something similar, police said.

But police say don't be fooled, those calls asking for money are not coming from them.

It is a scam known to police as "spoofing."  Criminals use a type of software to program a telephone number into their calling system as if they are calling from that number.

"The trick on this is that they are using a non-emergency number for our police dispatch, but they are also saying this is ‘Overland Park officer so and so' which lends more credibility and really worries people," said Gary Mason, Overland Park police spokesman.

Overland Park police received about ten calls Tuesday from people about the suspicious phone calls.

One woman, who did not want to be identified, said the callers were pretty convincing.

"She said this is the Overland Park Police Department, and you need to call Jack Hauffman," she said,

She said the caller told her she had some criminal charges with the department.

"And I thought, 'criminal charges? What!' And I said, 'what is it about?' And she said, 'no ma'am, you need to call them immediately,'" she said.

She called the number the caller gave her, and it was another person who claimed he was a police officer. But the number was from Texas, another red flag.

"He said, 'well, I want you to know this is a three-way call with the district attorney, the IRS and myself, and you've disregarded three letters to your home for back taxes in 2010, 2011,'" she said.

That was the last clue that the call was a fraud, because she didn't owe any back taxes.

Police say scams trying to solicit money from the elderly aren't new, but now the criminals are posing as officers and using a real number.

Mason warns residents to beware. He says the police department will never call and solicit money on behalf of any inmate or organization.

Police say the callers may actually be calling from another country. Never give your personal information over the phone, and if you receive one of the calls, report it to police.

If you are contacted by someone posing as law enforcement demanding money, you are encouraged to contact the Overland Park Police Department at (913) 895-6300.

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