Missouri Capitol Police learned on Thursday afternoon that scammers had begun manipulating Caller ID so phone calls appeared to be coming from Missouri Capitol Police. This is a scam known as “spoofing” and can be used to try to obtain personal information from you. Do not fall for this scam.
More than two dozen people who have received these fraudulent calls that displayed a Missouri Capitol Police phone number on Caller ID reached out to Capitol Police early this afternoon. The greatest number of reports of fraudulent calls appear to have come from people in Missouri and Texas. Capitol Police has not received any additional reports of the fraudulent calls since 3 p.m.
Unfortunately, spoofing phone numbers of trusted organizations or local numbers by fraudulent callers are all too common, so utilize these tips:
- Do not answer calls from unknown phone numbers.
- Do not hit any buttons if the caller asks you to. Hang up immediately.
- Do not answer any questions, especially ones regarding your personal information.
- Never reveal personal information, like your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, passwords, or credit card numbers.
- Never assume the caller is the person they say they are. If you receive a call from somebody representing a company or a government agency, hang up and call back the phone number on the company or agency’s website. This will allow you to verify the caller.
Understand that scammers are experienced at manipulating people to gain their trust through deception. Always be skeptical. Hang up immediately if you think you’re being scammed to avoid becoming a victim.
If you believe you were a victim and might have shared personal information, call the Missouri Attorney General’s hotline for fraud and deception complaints at 800-392-8222. You can also call Missouri Capitol Police at (573) 522-2222.