Scammers now using spoofing technology to disguise phone numbers

Published: Mar. 27, 2016 at 8:55 PM CDT
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Several Texas A&M students reported receiving calls from scammers claiming they committed tax fraud and have a warrant out for their arrest.

Meghan Carpio, a student at TAMU, told KBTX she was targeted over and over again. The caller threatened to arrest her if she didn't pay $1,000.

At first, she says she didn't realize it was a scam because they knew a lot about her, including her middle name. Her next call was to her mother.

"She called the number back and it ended up being the Texas State University Police Department," said Carpio. "I was like, how did my name get anywhere close to Texas State when I go to A&M."

The scammers are using a spoofing technology when calling their victims, which means they re-route the call so it looks like it's coming from somewhere else.

According to officials, the IRS or law enforcement agencies will never:

• Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes or debts owed without first having mailed you a bill.

• Demand that you pay taxes or debts without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

• Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes or debts, such as with a prepaid debit card.

• Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

• Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

• Use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal financial or tax issues.

If you are contacted by someone requesting payment for any debt with which you are not familiar, be exceedingly cautious because it is most likely a scam.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a similar scam, please report it to police.