Scammers 'spoof' Penn State police phone number

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State police are advising the public that an unknown scammer has “spoofed� the phone number for the University Park police station.

Those who are receiving the calls are located across the United States. The scammers appear to be deliberately falsifying information transmitted to caller ID displays to disguise their identity. In this case, the criminals are reportedly posing as police, demanding money and threatening jail time to those who do not comply.

This is a common tactic that has impacted law enforcement and government agencies across the country in recent years, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). A common ploy is to say the victim owes a debt or has won a prize. The FTC recommends the following tips to avoid becoming a victim to a government or law enforcement imposter.

  • Don’t wire money or make payments with prepaid debit cards.
  • If a caller claims you’ve won a prize, but says you must pay related taxes, insurance or shipping, do not comply.
  • Never give the caller your financial or other personal information.
  • Don’t trust a name or number. No legitimate government official will ask someone to send money to collect a prize or avoid jail time.

You can also report the scam by filing a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint. Include the date and time of the call, name of the government agency the imposter used, what they told you or requested, the phone number used, and any other details from the call.

If you receive an unexpected call from 814-863-1111, it’s OK to ignore it. If the call is legitimate, Penn State police will leave a message and then you can call back.

(Media Contacts)

Jennifer Cruden

Work Phone: 

814-867-1729

Last Updated October 01, 2019