LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - Concerned calls from people poured into Leesburg City Hall on Tuesday — all returning calls from what police said were scammers, spoofing the city’s phone number.
Robin Mcdade, a city hall utility services clerk, answered many of the calls.
“Between 30 and 50 calls yesterday pretty much the whole day, all day long it was really strong in the beginning of the day and it kinda tapered off as we kept telling everybody,” Mcdade said.
Scammers called Leesburg residents on Tuesday and used the Leesburg City Hall phone number to do it.
Scammers spoofing familiar numbers is happening everywhere, according to Will Maxson, with the Federal Trade Commission.
"Spamming familiar numbers is common and happens all over the country,” Maxson said.
When concerned tax payers started calling worried about their social security number, it was all hands on deck.
“Our finance manager come in here and she started helping answer the phones and then when court was over, the clerk of court, she was helping answer the phones and even the chief was helping us answer the phones because they were ringing so much,” Mcdade said.
Mcdade said even though it was a Leesburg number that was calling residents, scammers were not in Leesburg.
“They weren’t from here," Mcdade said. They were from Arkansas, Missouri and just different places around Maine and Florida.”
“A lot of times, they’ll spoof numbers that are from your area code and maybe even the exchange of the first four numbers after your area code that’s the same as yours," Maxson said. "Because what scammers and telemarketers have found is people are more likely to pick up the phone if the caller ID number that they are seeing looks local.”
Leesburg Police said the Social Security Administration is not affiliated with the city and the calls were a fraud.
City Hall staff said they have not received any calls on Wednesday from concerned residents.