The City of Bainbridge Island (COBI) has issued a warning to Bainbridge residents about a national fraud trend that has begun occurring locally.
Suspects use Voice Over IP technology to display on a target’s caller ID the name of a city official and a local telephone number to appear legitimate and get the potential victim to answer the phone and provide money. There have been multiple reports of the scam happening recently on Bainbridge. The latest reported incident was of a caller using the name of a police officer. Usually the caller is a male with a heavy foreign accent.
Bainbridge Island residents should be aware that calls that originate from actual city officials do not display an ID. Residents who suspect a call they receive might be fraudulent are advised to hang up and report the incident to the Bainbridge Island Police Department at 206-842-5211.
The technology used in this particular type of fraud allows perpetrators to display the ID and number of their choosing. Fraud agents from telephone companies report that the scam is now common, with suspects using names of officials at all areas and levels of government, including the IRS. Often the callers will use an official’s name that has recently been in the news.
Fraud agents say it is impossible to stop this activity since the calls are being generated from suspects overseas.
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