Sheriff’s Office warns of phone spoofing scam in Clallam County

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a spoofing phone scam.

Spoofing is when a caller disguises the number he or she is calling from by changing the caller ID, said Detective Josh Ley in a press release issued late Wednesday.

He said that a resident received a call from what appeared to be a local cell phone number. The resident was told by an automated voice that the person’s Visa debit card was restricted from out-of-state use due to certain activity and it needed to be verified to be used out of state.

It stated that the person could call or “Press 1” to be transferred, but the system never provided a callback number, Ley said.

After 1 had been pressed, the system asked for verification of such billing information as ZIP code, social security number, the debit card numbers, the security number on the back of the card, and then the card PIN.

At each stage, the answering person entered the numbers, which the system read back and said to “Press 1” if correct. After providing the last piece of information, the system said that the debit card was unlocked and concluded the call.

The automated system sounded official and no live person ever spoke, Ley said.

“If you receive such a call, hang up without providing any information,” he said in the press release.

“If you have concern that there might be a real problem with your finances, contact your bank or financial institution yourself so that you initiate contact with a verified and trusted source.”

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