Spoofing is a funny sounding word, but there is nothing funny about spoofing, which is the name for the tactic used by scammers by which they are able to manipulate your caller ID such that when you receive a call, it appears to come from a legitimate company, governmental agency, such as the IRS, or even your own telephone number. Recently the Marion County, Ohio Sheriff’s office issued a warning to people after a woman was scammed out of $1,500 after she received repeated calls that appeared to come from the Sheriff’s office demanding a payment be immediately made using a prepaid Green Dot cash card or she would be arrested on a federal warrant. According to Sheriff Tim Bailey, “government entities do not collect fines over the phone or ask for payment via Green Dot cards for warrants, fines, subpoenas or utility payments.” Spoofed calls often demand payments for failing to appear for jury duty.
To protect yourself from this scam, it is important to remember that your caller ID is not fool proof. In fact, it is a very simple task to spoof a telephone number.  You cannot trust your caller ID to accurately inform you as to who is really calling you.  You should never provide personal information to anyone over the phone whom you have not called.  If you ever receive a call requesting personal information and you think it might possibly be legitimate, merely hang up and call the entity back at a number that you know is accurate and even then do not provide personal information unless there is a real need for it. Also, you will not be called for missing jury duty and threatened with arrest unless you pay a fine over the phone.
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