Posted: 8/23/2017

By:

Your phone rings. You look at the caller I.D. and lo and behold, it’s your number! But how is that even possible? It’s possible because there’s a swindler on the other end, ready to defraud you through a robocall scam.

caller id

Your phone rings. You look at the caller I.D. and lo and behold, it’s your number! But how is that even possible? It’s possible because there’s a swindler on the other end, ready to defraud you through a robocall scam.

Because schemers are always adjusting their tactics in efforts to scam people out of money or personal information to use illegally, it is not uncommon for them to use caller I.D. spoofing technology to pose as others. Sometimes it’s a familiar business, government agency, charity, or someone you may know. They try to trick potential victims into answering the call. If you do answer you will probably hear a recording asking you to verify personal information, advising you that you’ve won a prize or gift, offering medical alert devices, or any number of other offers that are not legitimate. The information you provide may lead to identity theft, unauthorized charges, or other problems. Even something as simple as picking up the call alerts the scammer that the phone number is active and will more than likely lead to more unwanted calls.

Although your number may be part of the Do Not Call Registry, these scammers don’t care. This is one of the reasons they use caller I.D. spoofing equipment, to get around blocks and avoid detection from law enforcement. The real culprit could be out-of-state or even out of the country.

Protect yourself by avoiding calls that appear to be from your number. If you do pick up and find a recording on the other end, even if it prompts you to press a button to remove your number from their list, do not do it. You will only get more calls. Some other tips to keep in mind:

  • Caller I.D. can lie, so don’t rely on it.
  • Safeguard your personal information and NEVER give out any personal or financial information to someone that calls you unsolicited, no matter who they claim to be.
  • Report it. Contact your phone company, the public utility commission in your state, and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). If you’ve lost money to a scam or know of one, file a complaint with Business Consumer Alliance to warn others.

The main thing to keep in mind is that these calls mean no good, so it’s best to ignore them.

About Business Consumer Alliance

Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.

Tags: robocall, scam, cell phone

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What is this program?

The Consumer Ally program is free for consumers to join. At BCA, we feel it's very important to educate the public on trends like scams, new laws and providing helpful tips to empower the public in making wise purchasing decisions. This program is an elite community of consumers who share our vision for a safe marketplace. We can't be everywhere at once so we depend on feedback from the public to help our efforts.

  • Free subscription to our e-newsletter
  • Free scam alerts
  • Eligible to win random prizes. We like to run contests exclusively for Consumer Ally members