October 21st, 2020

New kind of phone scam

By Submitted Article on November 14, 2019.

Submitted by the Better

Business Bureau

Scammers are using another caller ID spoof strategy to get consumers to pick up the phone. This strategy is called “neighbour spoofing” >where the call appears to be from a local number but it is not. > >

For phone scams to be successful, scammers need people to pick up the phone so they can initiate the conversation. Neighbour spoofing uses a spoof caller ID to trick a person into thinking somebody local, possibly even someone they know, is calling. According to experts, this may interest someone just enough to answer their phone.

Con artists and robocallers use technology to modify what phone numbers appear on caller ID, impersonating phone numbers from neighbours, friends and local businesses to try to get you to answer the call. In many instances, it is a random number with the same area code and first three digits as your own phone number. In other cases, the number displays as coming from a local business or person in which you’ve previously communicated.

Answering one of these caller ID spoofed calls will indicate to the robocaller that you have an active phone line. Active phone lines are valuable to phone scammers and will often put you on what is referred to as a “sucker list,” potentially opening your phone line up to more scam calls. >

Here are a few BBB tips to help identify and handle “neighbour spoofing” phone calls:

– Avoid answering calls from phone numbers you don’t recognize, even if they appear to be local. If it’s important, the caller will leave a message. >

– If your own phone number is used in a caller ID spoof call, you may receive calls and messages from people asking why you called them in the first place. This can lead to a lot of confusion between the two parties, but knowing your own number can be used by scammers may help explain the situation. >

– Be aware that phone numbers of local businesses, including doctor’s offices and/or insurance agents, may appear to be calling you. If you’re not certain whether the call is legitimate or a spoof, hang up and dial the known phone number for the contact to verify the communication, especially if personal and/or financial information is being requested.

– There are call blocking apps that may help decrease the amount of spam calls, including those using a spoof caller ID. Your phone carrier may also provide a similar service or offer advice.

You can report phone scam calls to >BBB Scam Tracker.

Share this story:

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Well, number spoofing and those kind of scams aren’t new. They have been around for years. I personally never answer any calls unless I exactly know who’s calling me. I usually just ignore them. I sometimes also look up the number on Google or sites like http://whycall.me to see if people have reported those numbers as scams. I then block them immediately. We need to be extra careful to every call that we get. Most of them are coming from scammers.