HPDPS Warns About Spoofing Scams

Think twice before providing personal information over the phone – even if the number initially appears trustworthy.

Highland Park Department of Public Safety warned residents about the dangers of spoofing (when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity) in the Blue Zone newsletter for residents Tuesday after the town’s dispatch was notified someone may have done so attempting to use the town’s phone number.

“If you answer, they use scam scripts to try to steal your money or valuable personal information, which can be used in fraudulent activity,” the town’s newsletter warned. “Please do not provide personal information over the phone and remember that gift cards are not a legitimate payment method for any company.”

It’s not just phone calls to be aware of – Highland Park Department of Public Safety public information officer Jessa Russell says scammers can utilize legitimate-sounding emails to try to get information as well.

“If anyone reaches out of the blue and asks for identifying information, you should probably be a little leery,” Russell said.

A quick way to check the legitimacy of a call or email is to check with a legitimate source. In the case of the Highland Park Department of Public Safety, that would be the non-emergency number at 214-521-5000.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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