The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is warning that a handful of WSP associated phone numbers are being “spoofed” – illegally obtained and used for fraudulent purposes – in an apparent scam to get unsuspecting victims to provide their personal information.
Troopers says that scammers call and identify themselves as an officer, trooper or detective from WSP and tell the unsuspecting citizen their ID was used and is connected to a crime being investigated in another state or country. They then seek actual personal information for “verification.”
When those called have questioned the validity of the call, the scammers point to the number on caller ID and say something like “If you don’t believe I am State Patrol, Google it.” They also provide the citizen with a fake case number if it is requested.
THIS IS A SCAM! DO NOT FALL FOR IT! WSP would never call and seek your personal or financial information. These “spoofers” are trying to steal from you by first stealing the reputation of a trusted community partner like WSP.
“Spoofing” or “number hijacking” occurs when a caller masquerades as someone else by forging the number that appears on caller ID devices. The target of the illegal procedure might respond to the call or give it undue credibility because of the trusted name or number displayed or the message delivered.
WSP is actively investigating the situation but this sort of crime often originates overseas and is very difficult to solve and prosecute. Knowledge is your best defense.
AGAIN – the WSP urges all citizens to be vigilant in protecting both their personal and financial information.
“Never give out your personal or financial information to strangers. If the calls continue, call 911 and let the Communications Officer you speak to know the time and content of the call as well as the number used. In the rare occurrence that someone from WSP has a legitimate need to talk to you, the contact will not be seeking your personal or financial information and be easily verifiable by multiple means. If it doesn’t feel right – it’s not.