New Phone Scam: Don't Fall For It

MONROE -- More people are becoming victim to a new tactic used by phone scammers. It allows them to disguise their number as local private or business numbers in your caller ID.

Now that more people reject calls from blocked and unknown numbers, scammers are trying a new method. They use a familiar local number from a business, school, or hospital to trick you into answering.

"Caller ID is very helpful," said Jo Ann Deal BBB of Northeast Louisiana. "It's a wonderful thing. However, scammers will misuse it."

It's all thanks to a websites like '' which allow you to impersonate phone numbers for free. According to Jo Ann Deal with the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Louisiana, there are legitimate uses for these websites.

"It's helpful if you're a legitimate salesperson who's traveling and the caller ID on your cell number is not what you want to come up and you instead want your office number to come up," Deal commented.

Businesses beware; this issue doesn't just affect consumers. Deal told us, in one local case, a scammer used a local business's number to call someone in Rayville, pretending to be a debt reduction agent.

"We've had all kinds of issues come up where private individuals home numbers were used in a scam," mentioned Deal. "And then they became upset with each other when the party's who's number was used had no idea that there was a problem at all."

Deal says these robo-callers dial 24-7, trying every possible combination of number. Just by answering you let them know your phone is a working number.

"If you do not answer often enough, eventually, there is an algorithm that will take your number out of this automatic dialer or this robo-caller," Deal explained.

If you do answer, Deal says just hang up. Write down the time, date, and number of the call and report it to the BBB.

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