Idaho State Police (ISP) has been made aware of another round of telephone scams targeting Idahoans. The recent reports include somewhat new twists on long-familiar scams; however, according to the agency, scammers continue to look for specific circumstances or unique vulnerabilities that make their deceptions especially cruel and unfortunately, sometimes successful.
In cooperation with local law enforcement agencies and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, ISP is issuing the following alert.
One scam is targeting registered sex offenders.
Local law enforcement agencies are receiving reports of offenders being contacted by someone purporting to be from a sheriff’s office. Some calls reportedly also include mention of ISP. The scammer tells the recipient of the call that they are out of compliance but can pay a bond — usually with gift cards — to stay out of jail. Several of those contacted report losing money to the scam.
ISP advises that any caller threatening jail time or another penalty, and wanting payment via gift cards, prepaid debit cards, money transfer apps, etc. is a scammer. Hang up on them immediately.
Another scam is falsified caller ID that reads “ID State Police.”
A Treasure Valley man recently reported to ISP his wife answered a call when the caller ID read “ID State Police.” The woman was out of state at the time caring for an ill family member and feared the call may be important information about a loved one. Instead, the caller told the woman her vehicle warranty or registration was out of compliance and she needed to purchase and send gift cards to avoid penalty. The woman realized the call was a scam and hung up, but both she and her husband were surprised the scammers could fake a caller ID.
The technology to create a deceptive caller ID has been used in previous scams. Like most law enforcement, calls from the Idaho State Police typically show “No Caller ID”.