Callers in fraud scheme may be ‘spoofing’ DCA/board/bureau telephone numbers to make the calls appear to be coming from DCA or the board/bureau
Sacramento, Calif.—The State of California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has learned of an attempted fraud scheme aimed at licensees of DCA’s boards and bureaus. California has 100,708 automotive-related licensees.
In the scheme, scam artists identify themselves as DCA/board/bureau staff members or investigators and notify the licensee that they are under investigation, that their license may be suspended, or that an arrest warrant has been issued in the licensee’s name, and then they will demand money.
“This is a very old fraud attempt that we’ve been monitoring for a long time but in times of economic hardship we encourage our consumers and licensees to be extra careful,” Matt Woodcheke, DCA public information officer, told Aftermarket Matters Weekly.
In some instances, scam artists identify themselves as other entities including local police, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The callers may be “spoofing” DCA/board/bureau telephone numbers to make the calls appear to be coming from DCA or the board/bureau.
DCA/board/bureau stated that its staff members or investigators “will never contact licensees demanding money or payment of any form or personalized information without conducting an official investigation or inquiry.” If businesses receive such a call, DCA said to refuse the demand for payment.
The DCA also advises businesses to consider the following:
- Never disclose any personal information, i.e. social security numbers, date of births, or credit/debit card numbers.
- If you receive a call, contact the DCA directly at (800) 952-5210 to inquire if an official investigation is being conducted.
- You may also wish to call the board or bureau responsible for issuing your license. Contact information for all DCA boards and bureaus can be found via this webpage: https://www.dca.ca.gov/about_us/entities.shtml
- If the caller is stating they are from the DEA, report the scam using the DEA’s Extortion Scam online reporting form: https://www.dea.gov/stories/2019/06/11/alert-extortion-scam-targeting-dea-registrants
- If the caller is stating they are from the FBI, report the scam using the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reporting form: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
- If the phone number of the caller appears to be a DCA/board/bureau telephone number, report the scam using the Federal Communications Commission’s consumer complaint form: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/articles/115002234203-Unwanted-Calls-Phone-