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Nov 07

July 2019

Posted on November 7, 2019 at 11:24 AM by Craig Johnson

“What’s New in County 22?”

This month in my article, I would like to talk about “spoofing” and robocalls.  I have been receiving at least five or more phone calls a day on my cell phone from telemarketers lately.  The phone number that comes up is a local cell phone number.  I answer it because I am the sheriff and it may be a Clayton County resident calling to ask me a question.  When I answer, it tells me I can lower my interest rate or my warranty is running out on my vehicle.  This is called “Spoofing”. 

Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity.  Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number or a spoof number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust.  If you answer, they use scam scripts to try to steal your money or valuable personal information, which can be used in fraudulent activity.  I recently did have a resident call me and stated he received a missed phone call from me.  I did not call the resident and presume it was spoofing as well.  Here is some information from the Federal Communications Commission:

You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed.  Be extremely careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information.

  • Do not answer calls from unknown numbers.  If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
  • If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up.  Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
  • Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes” or “No.”
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verity the authenticity of the request.  You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
  • Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device.  The FCC allows phone companies to block robocalls by default base on reasonable analytics.  More information about robocall block is available at 

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi