Some of the most insidious and effective scams and identity theft schemes are the simplest. One that has been recently been reported in Mississippi, Utah, Texas and Pennsylvania but is also making its way around the country is a scam that begins when you receive a telephone call purportedly from your local police department informing you that the police have an arrest warrant for you. When the person receiving the call responds by saying that the call must be a mistake, the caller becomes belligerent, but willing to confirm whether or not the warrant is legitimate or phony if the person called provides personal information such as their Social Security number. Don’t give this information to anyone who calls you on the phone. A Social Security number is the key to identity theft in the hands of an identity thief.
Never give personal information to someone who calls you on the phone because you can never be sure if that person is legitimate or has a legitimate reason to have that personal information. Don’t reply on caller ID to inform you as to whether the call is legitimate or not because a crafty identity thief can “spoof” or copy the name and/or telephone number of a legitimate entity such as your local police department so it looks like the call is coming from your local police department or anyone else the identity thief wants to pretend to be. If you have any questions as to whether a call asking for personal information is legitimate, you should merely hang up and call back the entity at a number that you know is correct and even then, make sure that they really do have a legitimate need for the information.