The Indiana State Police confirm the published telephone number for their general headquarters in downtown Indianapolis has been spoofed over the last few days. That’s the practice of masquerading as someone else by falsifying the number as it appears on the call recipient’s caller ID display. In this case, people across the country receiving the calls saw 317-232-8248 come up. Sometimes the caller reportedly spoke with a “thick Indian accent” and claimed to be from the Indiana State Police. He then proceeded to ask for personal information from the caller and threatened arrest if they did not comply.
State police officials say victims became suspicious, hung up and called the number back. When they did, they reached an actual ISP official and reported the bogus calls. They say anyone receiving an unsolicited phone call from a person alleging to be a law enforcement officer or other type of government official should be suspicious if threats of arrest are made or personal information one would not normally provide to a stranger is requested.
If you receive such a call, hang up and call the number back. It will either ring without ever being answered, or the true holder will answer and you can report the spoofing. You can also type the number into an Internet search engine to see if it comes up as associated with scam activity.
ISP officials stress personal information should never be given to such a caller. This includes bank, credit card and Social Security numbers, birth dates or any other information about yourself or family members. They note such scams nearly always trace back to a foreign country. As a result prosecution of those responsible is nearly impossible. Unfortunately they say such activity will continue as long as unsuspecting people fall for the hoaxes. They add the best thing to do is just hang up, as the scammers will then move on to their next potential victims.