How the Scam Works:
Your phone rings, and you look at the caller ID. You recognize the number. It may be from a local business or a neighbor down the street. But in strange twist, you might even see your own name and phone number on the caller ID screen.
You answer the phone, and it's a robo call. Victims have reported several different phishing scams. In one common version, a recording prompts you to verify your credit card number under the guise of lowering your interest rates.
With many people rejecting calls from unfamiliar numbers, scammers are increasingly posing as familiar businesses, government organizations or people. Scammers purchase lists of phone numbers and use spoofing technology to trick potential victims into picking up the phone. Posing as your own phone number is great for shock value and for ensuring the number isn't blocked.
What to do is a scammer calls:
- Hang up, don't press any buttons and, if you received a voice mail message, don't call the scammer back. We all like to have the last word, but returning the phone call may just give the con artist information he can use.
- Don't trust CallerID. Scammers have technology that lets them display any number or organization name on your screen.
- Never give out any financial information. If you did not initiate the call, do not provide bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers over the phone unless you have thoroughly done your research and verified the caller.
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