Scammers using fake Howland police and fire caller ID - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Scammers using fake Howland police and fire caller ID

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HOWLAND, Ohio -

The Howland Police Department and Fire Department are warning residents of a phone scam.

The scammers are calling residents disguising their phone number as the Howland Police Department or Howland Fire Department according to Police Chief Nick Roberts.

When the resident answers the phone call, the scammer tries to obtain credit card information and also offers to reduce interest rates.

Roberts is advising anyone who falls victim to the scam by divulging credit card information to call the Trumbull County 911 Non-Emergency line (330) 675-2730 and ask to speak with a Howland Police Officer.

The Federal Trade Commission says that scammers can use fake caller ID information to trick you into thinking they are someone local, someone you trust – like a government agency or police department, or a company you do business with – like your bank or cable provider.

The practice is called caller ID spoofing, and scammers don’t care whose phone number they use.

The FTC says people shouldn't rely on caller ID to verify who’s calling. It can be nearly impossible to tell whether the caller ID information is real.

Here are a few tips from the FTC for handling these calls:

  • If you get a strange call from the government, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information. Government employees won’t call out of the blue to demand money or account information.
  • Don’t give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
  • Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
  • Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sure sign of a scam.
  • Want more tips for avoiding scams? Check out 10 Ways to Avoid Fraud.

If you’ve received a call from a scammer, with or without fake caller ID information, report it to the FTC and the FCC.

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