Telephone Scam

Crime Alert: Telephone Scam

November 30, 2014

 Over the past couple of weeks, college students in several states (including NC) have been receiving telephone calls from callers claiming to be with Internal Revenue Service (IRS), local Police Departments, and Sheriff’s offices. The callers tell the students they owe money for various reasons. The callers are spoofing the telephone numbers of the agencies to make the call seem more legitimate. If the student hangs up, the caller calls back almost immediately and spoofs 911. 

There are three parts to the "signature" of this attack:

  1. The victim receives a telephone call with a spoofed caller ID to make it appear to be from either the IRS (they often spoof the "1040 hotline"), a law enforcement agency geographically close to the potential victim's location, or 911, the emergency contact number used in the United States.
  2. The victim will be told that they have committed a crime, which may include running a red light and being caught by a traffic camera, failing to appear for Jury Duty, failing to pay your taxes or failing to pay them on time, or, if an international person, having a problem with immigration paperwork.
  3. The victim will be instructed to send a payment immediately, with amounts ranging from $500 to $2,500, and threatened with immediate arrest if they fail to comply.

This is a known scam and alerts have been issued by the FBI to the public.  No law enforcement agency will ever require a payment over the phone.  If you receive this type of call, tell the caller that you know that this is a scam and that you are contacting police.  Hang up and do not answer return phone calls. 

If you wish to report the call, please file a complaint through the Federal Trade Commission at  and submit the required information.  If you have already been the victim of this scam and paid money or if you have other information, please contact the ASU Police Investigations at 828-262-2150.


Posted November 30, 2014 at 7:35 pm