Alexandria Police Warn Residents About Phishing Phone Calls

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DECEMBER 9, 2008 #08-054

Alexandria Police Warn Residents About Phishing Phone Calls

Alexandria Police have noticed an emergence of Phishing phone calls through the City.  The Phishing phone calls attempt to obtain credit card information from residents.

On Saturday, November 29, 2008, residents received phone calls in which the caller was an automated or computer voice claiming to be from the State Department.  The caller informed the resident that their credit card had been disabled due to fraud.  The potential victims were instructed to press #1 to "REACTIVATE your ATM card."  Once the #1 was pressed the automated voice requested that they enter their 16 digit ATM number.  Currently, no one has reported that they entered their credit card number.

Initial investigation reveled that some of the phone calls came from a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service located in Scottsdale, Arizona.  An IT Technician at the VOIP provider stated that over 1,000 phone calls were made from their server after a successful intrusion attack allowed the suspect to make the phone calls.  Phone calls were made to the following area codes: 703, 515 and 571.  The breach has been contained and the suspects are no longer using that server for criminal activity. 

Alexandria Police would like to remind citizens that banking institutions will not request information over the telephone or internet.  These Phishing phone calls are a new way of trying to obtain financial information from potential victims.  People should not give out their information over the phone or the internet.  Never take for granted that the link in an email or the caller is legitimate. 

If you are a victim of fraud in Alexandria, please contact the Alexandria Police Department at 703-838-4444.