Identity thieves impersonating City officials

Manipulation of caller ID makes calls falsely appear to originate from the City

October 07, 2022 - by Bryce Carter, ITSD Senior Security Analyst

The City of Bellingham has received reports of unidentified individuals contacting area residents claiming to be City officials and attempting to obtain sensitive personal information. These individuals are unlawfully “spoofing” or manipulating caller ID to make calls appear to originate from official City telephone numbers.  

If you receive a call requesting your personal information, use these tips from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help keep your information and identity safe: 

  1. 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 suspicious. 
  1. If you get a call from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the telephone number on your account statement, in the telephone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request. 
  1. Use caution if you are being pressured to provide information immediately. 
  1. If you have a voicemail account with your telephone service, be sure to set a password for it. 

If you have given sensitive personal information to a suspicious third party and believe you’re an identity theft victim, contact the Bellingham Police Department and review identity theft resources 

For more information on how to protect yourself from telephone number spoofing, visit the spoofing section of the FCC’s website. 

Media Contact

Janice Keller, Communications Director, or 360-778-8100

Lt. Claudia Murphy, Bellingham Police Department, or 360-778-8834 

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