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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2017

Be aware of phone spoofing schemes

Sep 06, 2017

Milestones Area Agency on Aging is offering advice about telephone spoofing schemes

Typically, the caller ID feature on your telephone lets people avoid unwanted phone calls. However, not everyone is who they say they are. “Spoofing” occurs when a caller deliberately disguises their identity by falsifying information transmitted to your caller ID screen. This increases the likelihood that you’ll answer the phone.

The calls can come from individuals or robocalling systems doing telemarketing or conducting surveys in hopes of gaining your personal information.

This happened recently to a Milestones client. The client recognized the phone number and when he answered the phone, it was a telemarketing call.

You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed because you can’t rely on your caller ID to verify who’s calling.

Be careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information, cautioned the Milestones staff:

• Scam artists who use spoofing technology can pull off a wide range of scams designed to steal money or personal information. Be cautious of unsolicited calls from unknown callers — even if their caller ID information appears local.

• Never give out or confirm personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected callers. If you are suspicious, hang up immediately.

• To ensure you are not dealing with a criminal posing as someone else, hang up and place your own call. Look up the number of the organization that supposedly called you from a known source, such as a phone book, invoice, or website.

• Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately. That’s a sure sign of a scam.

• Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. Never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legitimate.

Even though spoof calling is prohibited by U.S. law and Federal Communications Commission rules, it continues to happen.

To file a spoofing scheme complaint, contact the FCC online at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov or by phone at 888-225-5322.

Be aware that Milestones will not call clients on weekends or after 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and staff will not ask for your personal information. Verify it was Milestones by calling 641-682-2270.

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