KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Homeland Security is warning people in the Kansas City metro that the person on the other end of the phone may not be who they claim.

Homeland Security says someone is spoofing department phone numbers to make it look like calls are coming from its office.

Spoofing is when information is illegally changed and then sent to a caller ID display to hide someone’s true identity.

“The public should be weary of individuals who call and claim to be from any government agency,” said Taekuk Cho, acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Kansas City. “It is almost unheard of that a government will contact someone via the telephone, but if you do receive a phone call, before you give them any personal information, HSI recommends you end the call, look up the official agency phone number online and call them directly to ensure you’re speaking to a legitimate representative.”  

The government says the scammers claim to be with Homeland Security Investigations, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration, or another government department.

Agents warn the callers claim they need to verify personal information because of an identity theft. The callers have also threatened to arrest people who do not provide the information requested.

The scammers also demand payment from anyone who answers their calls.

Homeland Security says you shouldn’t be intimidated by the phone call. Simply hang up the phone. The department says agents will not call and ask for personal information or demand money over the phone.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this telephone spoofing scam is urged to call the DHS OIG Hotline (1-800-323-8603) or file a on online complaint at www.oig.dhs.gov.