Do not answer that call: Salt Lake Sheriff warns of ‘sophisticated’ scammers

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At a time of widespread digital insecurity it turns out that the oldest and simplest computer fix there is — turning a device off then back on again — can thwart hackers from stealing information from smartphones. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Chances are, if you own a telephone, you’ve probably been at the receiving end of a scam call.

Salt Lake County Sheriff officials are reporting an acute increase in reports of scammers impersonating deputies.

“We want to remind the public that police agencies will NEVER call demanding payment in the form of cash, prepaid debit card, or gift card for warrants, missed court dates, or failure to report for jury duty,” says Salt Lake Sheriff County officials.

Scam calls are becoming so prevalent, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a public initiative to combat robocalls and spoofing.

According to the FCC, spoofing requires deliberately falsifying caller ID info to disguise their real identity. Spoofing aims to appear familiar to victims by using local numbers or numbers from agencies around your neighborhood.

Deputies warn that scammers can even use the real names of officers/deputies and may try to arrange meetings in the parking lots of official buildings to receive payments.

Officials are strongly urging the public to stay alert, saying they “will NEVER call you demanding a payment. If you receive a call like this, please hang up.”

According to the FCC, U.S. consumers received nearly 4 billion robocalls every month in 2020 and oftentimes, if you answer such calls, there could be a script that may ask you for your personal information.

If you do receive a suspicious call, deputies strongly advise hanging up immediately and reporting the incident to the non-emergency number of your local law enforcement.

The non-emergency number for the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office is 801-743-7000

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