Delaware State Police warn of phone scam


The Delaware State Police is providing a scam advisory for the entire state after investigating incidents in which victims receive calls from subjects posing as troopers who tell them they are wanted and/or owe bail money.

Many recipients of the calls have been individuals on the Delaware Sex Offender Registry, a news release said.

Troopers are reminding residents that their agency will never request payment for fines, traffic tickets or bail. These transactions are conducted by courts and never over the phone. Electronic payments for court matters are also not requested via phone.

“Spoofing” — or when a caller falsifies information on a caller ID display — can also be used as a form of deception during these phone scams. This practice is often used to trick someone into giving away personal information, so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally.

The following tips can help with avoiding scams:

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you do so accidentally, hang up.
  • If a caller (live or recorded) suggests hitting a button to stop receiving calls from them, hang up. This can be a trick to begin a conversation.
  • Never give out any personal information — for example, account numbers, Social Security numbers, password/personal identification numbers or a mother’s maiden name.
  • If a caller claims to be with a legitimate company, call back using a number found on a statement or on a secure website. This is particularly important if the caller asks for personal information or a payment.
  • If you are immediately pressured for information, be cautious. You are not obligated to answer any questions.
  • Set a password for voicemail. Some services allow automatic access to voicemail from the user’s phone; therefore, if a scammer spoofs the number, they can access voicemail if a password is not set up.
  • Use a call-blocking tool or app on your mobile device.

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