Westlake Police: Beware of "spoof" phone calls

WESTLAKE, OH (WOIO) - Police in Westlake are warning residents about "spoof" phone calls.

Spoofing means a caller deliberately falsifies the telephone number and/or name relayed from his phone so that phony information is displayed on the call receiver's caller ID system.

Two Westlake residents have received suspicious phone calls which appear on Caller ID to originate from Westlake Police's main number of 440-871-3311.

The first occurred on Feb. 19 when a female caller,  "Mimi," claimed to be a Westlake Police officer looking for the call recipient's son; the son does not live there. "Mimi" then told the recipient that she would come to the home in 45 minutes, but she did not.

The second occurred on Feb. 21. A Westlake man reported that he received calls and messages from "David Lane" of Westlake PD requiring him to pay money or an arrest warrant would be issued for him. The victim's Caller ID again showed the originating number to be 440-871-3311.

One of the voicemail messages directed the second victim to contact "Officer" John Harris at 717-889-1003. "David Lane" also called again (this time calling himself "Michael Brown") and told the recipient that the Dept. of Justice has pending check fraud charges against him.

This advisory is to alert the public of the misuse of Westlake PD's phone number and that no police agency will ever call to demand money or other valuables.

Violations of the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 can be reported HERE.

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