The Trenton Police Department reports residents receiving scam telephone calls from what appears to be a local telephone number or a telephone number from a business; however, these are telephone scammers spoofing telephone numbers to gain personal information to use in an identity theft scheme.
Authorities are encouraging residents to be vigilant in keeping their personal information personal. Always confirm that you are talking to a legitimate business before relinquishing any information to anyone. Many businesses do not conduct any transactions via the telephone.
Phone number spoofing causes the Caller ID to display a telephone number or other information to make it look like the calls are from a different person or business. While the caller’s information may appear local, the calls are often placed by telephone scammers located outside the state or country. Spoofing is usually done with malicious or unscrupulous motivations by the caller and it has led many people to believe that you can no longer trust Caller ID.
Utility service scams involve someone calling claiming to be from your gas, water, or electric company. They say your service will be cut off if you don’t pay them immediately. This is a scam. Real utility companies do not do this.
Amazon scams involve households receiving telephone calls from an unknown number telling the resident that they have ordered an item from Amazon Prime. The caller claims to confirm an order from the Amazon membership service, and if there is a problem, press a number on the telephone’s keypad.
An IRS impersonation scam is a telephone scam that targets taxpayers by pretending to be Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collection officers. The scammers operate by placing disturbing official-sounding calls to unsuspecting residents, threatening them with arrest and frozen assets if thousands of dollars are not paid immediately, usually via gift cards or money orders.