Lake Oswego police are urging residents to be on the lookout for phone and computer scammers who are able to fake caller identification.

Last week, a Lake Oswego resident was bilked out of $13,000 by someone whose caller ID showed a federal agency name and phone number that turned out to be illegitimate. The caller convinced the victim, a legal immigrant in the United States, that she could be deported if she didn’t send the money.

Police said these types of incidents have become increasingly common.

“When these types of calls are received, they are often very convincing and sometimes intimidating,” a press release stated. “They often ask for personal information or account information and, since the caller ID appears to be from a legitimate organization (e.g., financial institution, government organization), the victim does not suspect any foul play. In some cases, the caller even convinces the victim to either send them money or pay them over the phone.”

The Lake Oswego Police Department offered these tips:

Never give personal or account information over the phone unless you are certain of whom you are talking to.

If someone calls you and requests money or personal information, ask for their name and call them back.

Look up the number of the business or organization before calling back to be sure you are calling the real organization.

If you believe you have been the victim of this type of fraud, report it to police as soon as possible.

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