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Cass County Sheriff's office says scammers are "spoofing" their main phone number

The Cass County Sheriff's office wants to inform the public that scammers have been spoofing their main telephone number.

Lieutenant Tim Briggeman says this causes a big problem because it makes an incoming call appear as though it's coming from a legitimate source. He says concerned citizens have reported the calls to the Sheriff's office, and say the scammers tell recipients of the calls they are with the social security administration and that they have an active warrant for their arrest. He says the recipients are also told if they don't pay immediately with a pre-paid gift card, they will be arrested. Fortunately, Briggeman says no one says they have fallen victim to this scam yet - but this form of scamming is becoming more sophisticated and prolific.

"They have gotten so good at this voiceover IP, and utilizing local appearance of local numbers where it comes from a 701, and a prefix of your cell phone - and people definitely think it's a legitimate phone call, and are answering. And I know it has been so prevalent over this region over the last few years, that for the most part people do very well at identifying it and hanging up. But the unfortunate thing is that there are still people, our office included, that are taking reports of people falling victim to the spoofing of these numbers. The legitimacy that it lends to it - you know, these scammers are getting really good at making a living off of other people's money."

Briggeman says as a law enforcement officer, he does have to make calls to tell someone he has an active warrant on them - but that he always understands if that recipient wants to double check to make sure the call is legitimate. He says in this day and age - it's not a bad thing to do. He also says no law enforcement agency will ever force anyone to pay anything over the phone with a gift card - so that is a big red flag to watch for.