“Spoof” scammer pretends to be Defiance Co. deputy serving warra - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

“Spoof” scammer pretends to be Defiance Co. deputy serving warrants

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The Defiance County Sheriff is warning homeowners that his area could be the target of a spoof attack.

In a consumer alert, 13abc traveled to Defiance to learn how this scam works.

A new telephone scam which has popped up here in Defiance is proving to be extra troubling for law enforcement.

Whoever is doing this is using an app to manipulate the Caller ID to help support the lie that the person on the phone is a Defiance County Sheriff's Deputy.

Two reports of spoof calls in two days was enough to sound the alarm on Facebook.  A scammer called one person in Defiance County at home and another at work forging the Caller ID information to say the call is coming from the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office.

"The caller had used the name, said he was Deputy Michael Jenkins,” says Capt. Chris Clawson.

Clawson says there is no deputy in Defiance by that name.

 "They're able to spoof our phone number so the call will show up on caller ID from our number,” says Clawson.

The scammer posing as a trusted deputy causes panic to try to gather credit card or bank information.

"They're calling and telling people that they have a warrant for their arrest and that they need to send in a fee to have the warrant go away,” says Clawson.

Several spoof apps are available to change the name and number that comes up when you call someone, causing frustration for law enforcement.

We’ve told you about this technology before. 

A 22-year-old suspect from Oak Harbor allegedly used it last month to try to hide his identity to call in several threats to schools across Northwest Ohio.  Ottawa County and Sandusky police traced the calls back to Charles Tingler after subpoenaing the phone company.

In Defiance, the plan of attack is to warn the public before anyone hands over personal information and loses their life savings.

"We don't call to pick people up on warrants,” says Clawson.

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