Thursday, March 29, 2018

BBB: No, You Probably Didn't Call Yourself

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 10:30 AM

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Don't answer phones calls from yourself.

The BBB of the MidSouth said Thursday it is getting reports of a new phone scam in which people are getting calls from their own phone numbers.

It’s an updated version of a phone scam called “spoofing” and the BBB said to ignore the calls.

"It’s a pretty clever ruse devised to get people to answer their phones," said Randy Hutchinson, president and CEO of BBB serving the Mid-South. "When folks see their own number on caller ID, it makes them wonder what it's all about. Don’t let curiosity or confusion make you answer the phone."

Scammers use spoofing to hide the real number of an incoming phone call. Most of these call are illegal, the BBB said, as they’re usually an attempt to steal personal information.



The new spoofing method, called “neighbor spoofing,” uses a number that begins with the same first six digits of your own number. The tactic may ”help fraudsters beat new call-blocking services and apps that rely on blacklists of known robocallers and illegal telemarketers to help block unwanted calls.”

The BBB said callers usually want to pitch a product, like extended auto warranties, medical alert systems, travel packages, and credit card interest rate reductions. Or, they want to steal personal information. Callers pretend to be your bank, phone service provider, or credit card company. 
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“They tell you that there’s something wrong with your account and you need to provide them with your personal information,” the BBB said. “Don’t do it. They’re phishing and hoping you’ll bite.”

Don’t even answer the phone, the BBB advised. Doing so, tells a computerized dialer that yours is a “good, working number. Then, the crooks sell your number to other crooks and you end up getting more calls instead of less.”

Here are some tips from the BBB to help combat unwanted robocalls:

Don’t assume the number on caller ID is legitimate.

Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize or from your own number.

Don’t press any numbers. Doing so confirms your number is good and you’ll get more calls.

Don’t call the number back.

Don’t provide financial or other personal information in response to an unsolicited call.

Be wary of doing business with any company peddling their goods or services this way.

Trust your instincts – If something doesn't seem right to you, end the call and report it at bbb.org/scamtracker and ftc.gov/complaint.

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