By Griffin Wasik
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter
MASON — Ingham County Sheriff Gene L. Wriggelsworth is warning residents of a phone scam where two victims have lost a total of $800. Even though the number on your caller ID may be the same number as the sheriff’s office, do not be fooled. The suspect uses a phone application where it disguises, or uses another phone number and identity, Wriggelsworth said. “It’s typically a male subject who has a foreign accent and he identifies himself from the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office,” Lt. Dennis Hull, of the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, said. “He’s using a spoof app.
Residents of Clinton County have recently been plagued by a number of phone calls from apparent scammers threatening action for money. Callers claiming to be grandchildren or members of the IRS or Consumer Energy have resorted to utilizing fear or desperation. While members of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office has taken measures to help people, it’s proved difficult to reach out to everyone. “These people are very good at what they do,” said County Sheriff Wayne Kangas. “These scammers have become very savvy about who they contact and what they say.”
Kangas said that senior citizens are easier to manipulate in these situations.
By JOSH THALL
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan residents suffer the nation’s sixth-highest rate of identity theft, and the approaching April 15 tax deadline makes people particularly vulnerable, officials said. Tax filing season leads to increased IRS scams, as people working on their taxes respond to fake requests out of fear of getting on the bad side of government, said Marco Jones, a community service trooper for the Michigan State Police, Lansing post. “Those (cases) are being reported to agencies across the state,” Jones said. “People will call and misrepresent themselves as a member of the IRS, basically trying to strongarm people over the phone, trying to get their information.”
People can protect themselves by refusing to give personal information over the phone and double-checking the source in mail and email communications, Jones said. Confirming mail communications with a phone call to the agency can also help.