In the past couple days, several Pasadena residents reported receiving phone calls from a telephone number that legitimately returns to the Pasadena Police Department.
The unknown caller told the residents they either owed money to the IRS, had an open fraud case with Pasadena PD, or they were the victim of identity theft. Each time the caller tried to solicit personnel information such as driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers or Social Security information.
In the examples above, the scammers were able to alter the phone number that appeared on the resident’s caller ID screen making it look as if the police were indeed calling. This is not the case. This is called “Spoofing.” A law enforcement agency would never ask anyone to verify this type of information in this manner. Do not provide any personal information over the telephone.
Tips to Avoid Telephone Scams
– Be careful of callers claiming you won money, a prize, or a vacation package.
– Hang-up on all suspicious calls.
– Be careful with caller ID. Scammers can alter the number via spoofing.
– Do your homework before you respond to any caller with your personal information.
– Research or validate business deals, charitable organizations, or packages independently from the information the caller has given you.
– Do not be pressured into giving any information over the telephone.
– Do not say “yes” over the phone to an unknown caller. Scammers record “yes” responses to use as evidence that you agreed to a financial transaction.
– Do not provide any personal information to a caller such as a credit card number, bank account information or information about relatives or friends.
– Do not send money if requested payment using a prepaid debit card or a wire transfer.
If you believe you have been scammed out of money call the Pasadena Police Department or your local law enforcement agency. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” mobile app on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website lacrimestoppers.org