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By Bill Houston

The Racine Police Department would like citizens to be aware of caller-ID spoofing schemes being used to mimic calls from government agencies both locally and nationally.

Officers recently responded to a complaint from an individual who was contacted by someone claiming to be from the Racine Police Department, calling from what appeared to be the same telephone number as the Racine County Communications Center.

While the Acting Inspector General of Social Security recently warned citizens about an ongoing caller-ID “spoofing” scheme involving the Social Security Administration’s national customer service phone number, the Racine Police Department reminds residents that demands for payment via telephone and threats of arrest will never come from the IRS, Social Security, WE Energies, or any other legitimate business or government agency.

Additionally, when law enforcement officials do have active arrest warrants or are seeking payment of fines or forfeitures, they will never ask for the purchase of gift cards as a method of payment. Any solicitation of this nature should be reported to law enforcement immediately.

What you can do

If you believe you are the victim of a scam involving the App Store and iTunes gift cards or Apple Store gift cards, contact Apple at 800-275-2273 and say “gift cards” when prompted.

The Acting Inspector General urges citizens to be extremely cautious, and to avoid providing information such as Social Security Numbers or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet.

If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from the Social Security Administration, report it to the Office of the Inspector General at 800-269-0271.

Anyone with additional information about any of these caller-ID spoofing schemes is urged to call the Racine Police Department Investigations Unit at 262-635-7756 or contact Crime Stoppers at 262-636-9330.

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...