Illinois residents, watch out! A new phone scam is making the rounds, and it involves imposters pretending to be Illinois State Police (ISP) investigators. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself.

Text message SMS scam or phishing concept. Man hands using smart phone
Credit: Canva

The Scam: Impersonating ISP Investigators

Scammers are making calls, claiming to be ISP investigators, and stating that your identity has been stolen. These imposters then request personal or financial information under the guise of "clarifying" the situation.

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Remember, the real ISP will never cold call you to ask for personal or financial details. If you receive such a call, ask for the caller's name, badge number, and contact information. Then, disconnect the call and report it immediately. To confirm if the caller is legitimate, contact one of the seven investigative regions listed on the ISP website.

Credit: Diy13
Credit: Diy13

Protect Yourself: Tips from the Illinois state Police

Never provide personal or financial information over the phone to an unknown caller. Always ask for the caller's name, badge number, and contact information before engaging further. If in doubt, verify the caller's legitimacy by contacting one of the seven investigative regions listed on the ISP website. If you suspect a scam or have been targeted, report it immediately to the authorities.

woman holding mobile phone with incoming call from unknown caller
Credit: ronstik

I may have already been scammed! Now What!?

Contact the three major credit bureaus to place a security freeze on your credit reports. This prevents unauthorized individuals from opening credit in your name. Reach out to the Illinois Attorney General's Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630 for guidance on recovery.

Scammers made 6.7 billion calls in the first three months of 2023 alone – or nearly 74 million calls per day.

This latest phone scam is not the only one United States citizens have been confronted with recently. Certain area codes are almost always a scammer seeking information to sell, buy, trade, or profit from. Thanks to, we have a list of potential phone numbers you should just let go to voicemail.

Credit: Artur
Credit: Artur

The majority of these phone and SMS scams in 2022 came from the below 12 phone numbers:

  • (865) 630-4266: Linked to Wells Fargo account scams.
  • (469) 709-7630: Claims about package delivery to lure victims.
  • (805) 637-7243: Fake Publisher's Clearing House winnings.
  • (858) 605-9622: False claims of bank or credit card hacking.
  • (863) 532-7969: Pretends to assist with frozen bank cards, aims to steal information.
  • (904) 495-2559: Sweepstakes scam targeting bank accounts.
  • (312) 339-1227: Deceptive weight loss supplement offers.
  • (917) 540-7996: Robot-marketing calls, adds victims to scam lists.
  • (347) 437-1689: Used during tax refund time or fake vacuum giveaways.
  • (301) 307-4601: Claims to be from the Postal Service, offering fake packages.
  • (878) 877-1402: Promises to "unfreeze" debit cards, aims to steal funds.
  • (202) 221-7923: Scams involving alleged student loan forgiveness.
Credit: Oleksii Spesyvtsev
Credit: Oleksii Spesyvtsev

Remember, most cell phone providers help you identify known scam numbers by displaying things on your incoming call display like; “Scam likely”, “Potential Spam”, or "Spam Risk." However, scammers can easily change their phone numbers and continuously register new ones to make their calls seem legitimate. Stay vigilant, Illinois! Don't fall victim to these scams. If in doubt, always hang up and verify before sharing any personal information.

LOOK: The biggest scams today and how you can protect yourself from them

Using data from the BBB Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, Stacker identified the most common and costly types of scams in 2022.

KEEP READING: These are the top 6 scams connected to the pandemic

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