Scammers trying to trick residents use Sterling Heights police, IRS phone numbers

People living in one Macomb County community were left confused after receiving a phone call from their city's police department. But it wasn't what it seemed.

Stay on guard.- that's the message from the Sterling Heights Police Department They're taking to social media, warning the public that people are getting crank calls from what appears to be their line.

"Our residents were getting calls from what looked like our Sterling Heights police phone number claiming to be the IRS or the federal government telling them to call back or there will be a warrant for your arrest," said Sgt. Aaron Asusalla.

It wasn't a Sterling Heights officer or federal agent behind those attempts to get a hold of people's personal information. Asusalla says these spoof calls are becoming a go-to for scammers.
FOX 2: "How does this even happen?"

"With the technology these days, you can download apps, you can get other kind of software that allows you to spoof your number to make it look like another number is calling you," he said. "They get this app or other program they type in what number they want to make it appear like they're calling from and they call right from their own phones."

Sterling Heights PD says roughly a dozen residents have called their front desk asking if an officer called them.  It did not take long at all for police to figure out what was happening.

"From the police department's standpoint we aren't going to call you and ask for your information," Asusalla said. "We already have it or if it's something we need to do we're going to talk to you in person.

"Just a good rule of thumb, don't give anybody information over the phone or any other kind of network, that you don't know who you're talking to. Because there are so many scams out there, it's even hard for us to keep track of all the different ones. But to keep yourself safe just don't give out our information."

Police say it appears no one fell prey to this spoof call scam and here's to hoping no one will.