NORTH AURORA – The North Aurora Police Department is warning the public about a recent phone scam attempt.
A woman in the 600 block of East Victoria Circle in North Aurora reported to police last week that she has been getting harassing phone calls from unknown males claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a local police agency, including the North Aurora Police Department, according to a news release from the North Aurora Police Department.
The callers claimed the woman’s husband had been defrauding the government or owed back taxes and they have an arrest warrant for both of them, the release stated.
The callers told her they could avoid an arrest by paying.
When the victim questioned the callers further, they became belligerent, profane and threatened to kill her and her family.
Usually, the caller ID showed the calls were coming from New York or Washington, D.C., but most recently they started showing as coming from the North Aurora Police Department, the release stated.
“One of our officers was present with the victim when three calls came in that showed the North Aurora Police phone number on the caller ID,” North Aurora police said in a statement. “The first caller claimed to be with the FBI and the IRS, another claimed to be from the Oswego Sheriff’s Office, and the last claimed to be from the Oswego Police Department. All three callers had heavy accents, possibly European, and at times were hard to understand. Fortunately, the victim did not send any money to the scammers.”
The scammers were using a process known as Caller ID spoofing, by which callers can deliberately falsify the telephone number and name relayed as the Caller ID information to disguise the identity of the calling party, North Aurora police said.
North Aurora police warned residents to be suspicious of anyone who calls unexpectedly demanding cash.
“If your relative was really in custody, they would be allowed to call you themselves,” the release stated. “Verify any emergencies by calling other family and friends before sending money. If there was a warrant for your arrest, you would be asked to turn yourself in at the nearest police department, not wire money to avoid arrest. If you have even the slightest doubt, look up the agency phone number yourself and call to verify the information.”
Those residents who think they might have been the victim of a scam are urged to call the North Aurora Police Department at 630-897-8705.