IDF: Beware Phony Homefront Command Phone Calls

Israeli soldiers man a checkpoint. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Criminals have developed a new way to steal data from unsuspecting Israelis, which they then use to carry out various plots and plans designed to separate them from their money. According to the Homefront Command, the newest scam involves criminals phoning individuals and representing themselves as members of the Command, who need key information to ensure that they remain “protected in the event of a war.”

Hadashot News quoted several victims of the scam, who were told that the “soldier” they were speaking to needed information about their family – names of family members, their ages, where they go to school or other personal information. In some cases individuals were asked for their identity numbers (teudat zehut). The victims said they contacted the Homefront Command, which confirmed that the incidents were occurring, but made it clear that the Command was not involved.

The motivation of the scammers was not clear, but officials told Hadashot News that it could be a variant of an identity theft scheme, where criminals utilize the information they have about victims to take out bank loans, request tax refunds and the like in their name, or simply sell their phone numbers to marketers, putting them on “robocall lists” that dial out recorded messages about everything from weight-loss programs to phony fundraising appeals.

In a statement, the IDF said that any contact between soldiers and the public in the context of Homefront Security was done via secure official channels, and not on the phone. “Anyone who experiences this situation is requested to contact the police,” the statement said.