SPOOFING: Have scammers called you from your own number?

posted by Dana McKenzie -

(FOX4) Scammers have a new technique designed to get your immediate attention. 

Many have created a habit of not picking up the phone when an unknown number calls. However, scammers have gotten around that. They are using you own phone number to get your attention and make you pick up the phone. Lt. Dana Coston at the Cape Coral Police department called the technique 'spoofing.' "By spoofing somebody's number, and calling that number, the person is going to think, 'well that's odd,' and pick up the phone and answer it," he said. 

After you've answered, the caller can pose as the IRS, your bank, or any entity of their choice to try to make the call seem urgent. "They get them to react emotionally, and then by having just a little bit of information about the person, they are able to social engineer them and get them to give up additional personal information," Lt. Coston said.

The calls are sent out by the millions, and if scammers can get 50 or 100 people to bite, it's free money for them. Lt. Coston suggests never to give out any personal info over the phone if someone has contacted you. 

If you have fallen victim to this scam, or experienced something similar, report it to your local law enforcement agency, or the Federal Trade Commission.

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