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Scam artists hope to dupe Deerfield residents

DEERFIELD — Have you received a phone call lately that just didn’t seem quite right? Were you offered something that seemed too good to be true?

According to the Deerfield Police Department, there’s a pretty good chance that it is, and they’re warning the town’s residents to double check any calls they receive that seem out of the ordinary.

According to Police Chief John Paciorek Jr., scam artists have begun using devices known as a “phishing cards” that allow them to use computers to change the phone number that shows up on caller identification of their intended victim’s phone.

“With the way technology is now, anyone can enter any number,” he said.

In Deerfield, Paciorek said, the calls have mainly targeted the town’s elderly residents and are designed to give the target peace of mind when deciding whether to pick up the phone. He said residents have been reporting receiving calls from the Town Hall, local companies that they do regular business with, and even the victim’s own phone.

Once they are on the line, the scammer will attempt to squeeze as much personal information out of the victim as they can to be used in identity theft crimes.

“Ultimately, they want to trick people into giving up their personal information and anything related to their identity,” said Paciorek. “They’re after birth dates, Social Security numbers, past addresses, passwords. Anything they can get.”

Paciorek said he has also received reports of a second phone scam that involves victims being told that a friend, family member or relative is in jail, in the hospital or in some sort of danger and that they must immediately provide money to help them.

Paciorek said the best defense against these types of calls is to simply never give any information out until consulting with the police to verify that the call is genuine.

“They can call us instead, and we will verify whether their relative is incarcerated or in the hospital and let them know,” he said.

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