COLUMBUS – Columbus Police released information warning of phone scams after multiple incidents involving a caller trying to get personal information.
*The story originally posted, said the caller was posing as the bill collector, but the caller is using a number that appears to be from the Columbus Community Hospital, before attempting to gather personal information.
You can see the full press release below.
NARRATIVE: The Columbus Police Department would like to remind citizens that Caller ID information from incoming telephone calls cannot be trusted as reliable. In a recent instance, two Columbus residents received telephone calls from a number that appeared to be the Columbus Community Hospital. The caller attempted to collect credit card information for payment of an outstanding bill. Once the resident refused to provide the Credit Card information the caller then attempted to gather personal information allegedly in order to create a credit card account.
There are numerous technologies available that allow a caller to disguise the number they are calling from. We have received reports of citizens receiving calls from 911 even though the 911 number cannot be used for outbound calling. We have also seen local numbers used from calls originating in other countries.
Citizens are reminded to conduct a “sanity check” regarding any incoming communications:
• Do not trust anyone who is calling you to send them money.
• Do not trust caller id information.
• Do not click on links in e-mail communications.
• Do not ever cash a check that you are not expecting to receive without THOROUGH investigation
and never send money back to a person who sent you an unexpected check.
• Verify any report that a loved one is in trouble, danger or need before attempting to help them.
• Never provide credit card, checking account or any other personal information to somebody who calls you. If the call appears legitimate and from an institution that you work with, tell them you are going to call them back and call the telephone number on your most recent billing statement and do not trust a number that they provide to you.