Scam Alert: New phone scam spoofs your own number
Scammers are calling residents and phishing for personal information
FRESNO – A new phone scam has been popping up recently, but with a strange new twist — your own number is calling you.
Scammers are using this new tactic to phish for your personal information.
Hundreds of residents in the Central Valley have reported receiving this scam phone call, with the robocaller on the other end asking them for personal information, like the last four digits of their social security number. The robocaller threatens that their AT&T accounts have been compromised or will be closed, and that they must enter the last four digits of the account holder’s social security number for verification to keep it active.
In another variation of this scam, the robocaller asks for information pertaining to setting up their voicemail account.
No matter what variation of the call you receive, scammers are only after one thing — your personal information. This information can potentially help them hack your accounts or steal your identity.
Better Business Bureau Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties offer up the following tips to protect yourself from becoming victim to the next phone scam.
Don’t trust caller ID
Victims fall for phone scams because they assume the number on their caller id is the correct person. Scammers can easily spoof numbers to make it look like a certain person is calling you, when in reality they are not.
Don’t give out personal information
Any legitimate person or business who reaches out to you will already have your information on hand. If they don’t, or if you receive a call out of the blue asking for your personal information just hang up. Scammers usually pose as a trusted source to get any information they can out of you. If you hang up immediately on them, they will not be able to phish for that information.
Beware of big name companies calling
Scammers impersonate big name companies, charities and legitimate businesses hoping that you will be more inclined to give up your personal information to them. If you receive such call hang up immediately, find the appropriate number on your own, and call the business to verify.
Sign up for the Do Not Call Registry
To cut down on the amount of calls you receive, you can register your phone number for free through the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry. The Do Not Call Registry prohibits sales calls, so you may still receive political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls, telephone survey calls, and calls from companies you’ve recently done business with.
If you receive a phone call from a number you’re unsure of, it’s best to just let it go to voicemail. Any legitimate person or business will leave a message, but even if the scammer decides to leave you a voicemail, you will have time to think about what is being asked by them, instead of being pressured on the spot to give up your personal information.
For more tips, visit bbb.org.