FORT WAYNE — The Indiana State Police Fort Wayne Post said it received a complaint Thursday from a local citizen reporting a phone scam.
ISP receives numerous reports of phone scams each year, but this particular scam has not yet been seen, police said.
The scammer called asking the citizen for the phone number of the local Indiana State Police Department. The scammer explained that he was the victim of ID theft and needed the phone number so that he could alert the police. The good citizen wanting to help, obliged and gave the scammer the phone number for the Indiana State Police Fort Wayne Post, (260) 432-8661.
A short time after that call, the same citizen received another phone call, with the Caller ID showing “Indiana State Police” with the “260-432-8661” phone number. The scammer identified himself as an Indiana State Police officer and commenced to tell the citizen that he was the victim of an ID theft out of Texas. The scammer then asked the citizen to go to a Target store and obtain a prepaid credit card; money that would then be used to assist the scammer to clear up this alleged identity theft.
Fortunately, the citizen did not fall victim to this scam, rather he became suspicious and immediately reported the incident to law enforcement, state police said.
The Indiana State Police said it wants to remind all Hoosiers that these types of phone scammers are pervasive, convincing, and technically savvy, as was definitely the case here. Scammers often will play on emotions and fears in order to get money.
“The easiest way to protect yourself from being scammed over the phone, is either to ignore unsolicited calls from unknown callers, or just hang up when something doesn’t seem right,” a state police spokesman said.
“You should never provide any information over the phone to an unknown caller regarding your personal identity, Social Security number, bank account(s) or credit card number(s). If in doubt, or if you feel you may have fallen victim to a phone scammer, just hang up and immediately report the incident to your local law enforcement agency.”