Scammers have now taken to impersonating local law enforcement in an attempt to fool people into forking over personal information.
Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander says he was informed today that a few people in the area had received calls with the ID showing his name and attempting to sell extended car warranties.
"I can assure everyone that I am not selling an Extended Warranty," Glander wrote in a Facebook post this morning.
These scam callers, whether they are automated or actual people, have been using technology to spoof phone numbers or make it look like the call is coming from a local number. Now, the technology is being used to look like calls are coming from the local sheriff's office, and it can also be used to look like calls are coming from other local entities and businesses.
"We want people to be aware that this is happening, so they can be cautious about what they say over the phone or if they even want to answer that phone call," said Glander.
"If the caller is not a contact on my phone, I do not answer," responded Joe Riewer to the sheriff's post, adding that people "can leave a message if it's important."
Scam calls seem to be on the rise, particularly "robocalls," which are automated calls from a software program that play a recorded message to whoever answers the phone. Calls offering to sell people extended vehicle warranties seems to be popular lately. Glander says he has received a number of them himself.
As with any new scam, Glander says people should just be very cautious about giving personal information out over the phone.
If a person feels they have been scammed, he says they should contact their bank or credit card company right away, and report it to local law enforcement.
Glander says the software scammers are using does make these cases difficult to investigate, but if they are made aware of new scamming methods, they can at least make the public aware. He says if someone is scammed and loses money, it is treated like financial exploitation that occurs in person and is investigated.