The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) warned the community on Nov. 11 about recent phone scammers impersonating members of the department.
The scammers called Newport Beach residents asking the potential victims for their addresses and personal information.
“The Caller ID on these phone calls looked like they were NBPD phone numbers,” the department said in a statement. “Residents who contacted us directly were able to confirm that these calls did not come from our department.”
Scammers will often be quite convincing, utilizing tactics such as manipulating the caller ID, using social media information they find on potential victims, and even hacking into email accounts to seem like they are genuinely the person they claim to be, according to the police department.
Police said the scammers will often pressure you and “play on your emotions” to get money and personal information, which they can use to create a false identity for use in a future crime.
Police warned when taking a call from an unknown number to always be sure the caller is who they claim to be.
The department said to verify all calls coming from an alleged government agency or facility and to not give out any personal information until you have done this, including your social security number, bank account number, and credit card numbers.
You can ask the caller for their name, department, and business phone number. If they don’t give it to you, it’s likely a scammer, police said.
To ensure the caller is who they say they are, look up the phone number on a verified website, call that number, and ask about the inquiry.
The department encouraged residents to pass this information to friends and family, as even if you don’t receive one of these calls, one of your friends may.