Lake County Sheriff MEDIA RELEASE
Telephone Scam Alert
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has received reports of Lake County residents receiving fraudulent telephone calls from individuals representing themselves to be from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. These fraudulent calls are appearing on the recipients’ caller identification as telephone numbers used by the Sheriff’s Office. Thus, it appears the victims are receiving a valid call from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, when this in fact is not the case.
During these scams, the fraudulent caller states they are calling regarding a complaint which had been filed against whoever answers the telephone. The fraudulent caller then gives the name of an “investigating officer” and instructs the recipient to call a telephone number to reach that “officer.”
Residents should be aware when the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is requested to make a notification for an outside agency, a highway patrol deputy will be dispatched and will make the notification in person. These notifications do not occur over the telephone.
In other occurrences, some of the callers are indicating they are from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are working with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The fraudulent caller tells the recipient they owe back-taxes and must pay a specific dollar amount, or an arrest warrant will be issued by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Be aware, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office does not obtain arrest warrants for the IRS.
The offenders in these instances are using tools to “spoof” their telephone number. Even though these offenders are not calling from the Sheriff’s Office, they can mask their telephone number to make it appears as if the call is originating from the Sheriff’s Office.
If you are contacted via telephone by a member of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff’s personnel will provide their name and a valid call-back telephone number. If you feel you’ve received a fraudulent telephone call, contact the Sheriff’s Office to determine the validity of the call.
- Don’t give identifying or personal information to anyone over the telephone, unless you have confirmed who you are speaking with
- Don’t provide any payment information to anyone over the phone, unless you have initiated the conversation
- If you are unsure of a caller’s identity, ask for their name and callback number, then hang-up and verify their information via the Internet or telephone book
- If a caller is asking for someone who isn’t currently home, simply tell the caller they can’t come to the telephone (versus informing the caller you could be home alone)
For more information on scams please visit: http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Sheriff/