Phone scam appears to be from ‘911’
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
May 01, 2013 | 1696 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bradley County’s 911 director said a possible scam involving calls which can be made from virtually anywhere kept dispatchers busy Monday evening as residents called to report the incident.

Director Joe Wilson said approximately 30 residents received hang-up telephone calls that appeared to have been coming from the 911 Center. The caller ID shows either 911 or a number beginning with 911.

“It's not the 911 Center calling,” said Wilson. “Our 911 trunk lines are incoming only. If a dispatcher calls a resident it will be on a regular phone line, and the number on the caller ID will have a prefix of 728, 790 or 476 —never 911.”

Wilson said It is possible to “spoof” a phone to transmit false caller ID information. It can happen from just about anywhere in the world, which makes it difficult to prosecute. The caller or telephone robot calls a phone and hangs up after one ring or after the phone is answered, according to Wilson.

“Seeing 911 on the screen, many people will dial 911 to find out if the hang-up call originated at the 911 Center. This makes it possible to remotely flood a city’s 911 center with local calls,” said Wilson. “Spoofing is a fairly efficient way to use false caller IDs to defraud or harass.”

“We would recommend that residents who receive such calls be certain their phone line is fully cleared (the caller has disconnected) and take no further action. If they would like to contact our center to be sure, feel free to call us at 728-7311,” he said.

n A wallet containing cash and personal papers was taken from a car parked at a man’s residence during the past few days.

A report filed by Deputy Doug Graham named Brandon Lee Stewart as the victim.

According to his report, Graham said he spoke with Stewart during the weekend.

Someone had entered his unlocked 2003 Ford Explorer and took his wallet from the console.

The wallet contained a significant amount of cash and identification cards.

The incident was believed to have occurred Thursday or Friday, according to Graham’s report.

n Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting Driver’s License Roadside Safety Checkpoints in Bradley County this week.

The checkpoints will be set up in random location in the county.

According to THP officials, checkpoints are an effective means of recognizing the dangers presented to the driving public by motorists who would violate the drivers license laws of the state.

All scheduled checkpoints are contingent upon weather conditions and manpower availability.