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What Makes Spoofing Scams So Scary?

Caller ID lets you know who’s calling before you answer your phone. At least it used to. Scammers can now perpetrate fraud using Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) technology and your 10-digit telephone number. Unlike other scams, spoofing can fool even the most tech-savvy consumer, which is one reason it’s so scary. Here are five more ways spoofing makes the fraudulent activity harder to detect and what you can do about it.

Fraudsters use fake caller ID information to:

  1. Falsely represent themselves as a well-known company or a particular person
  2. Convince victims to provide credit card information to pay for the nonexistent debt
  3. Pretend to represent attorneys, bail bondsman, or other legal entities demanding the urgent wiring of funds to release a relative from jail
  4. Gain your confidence by appearing to call from a local number that often mirrors your area code and sometimes the first three digits of your phone number as well
  5. Send deceptive text messages

Here’s what you can do about it.

Avoid relying on caller ID to verify a caller’s true identity. Even if you receive a call from a company you usually do business with, take these steps to protect yourself before providing or confirming personal or financial data over the phone:

  • Call the business directly using the number on their website, not the phone number provided by the caller.
  • Offer to visit the business in person to provide the requested information.
  • If you’re pressured to provide information over the phone, via text, or email, then end the call.

    Additional tips to help minimize your risk:

  • Know that most banks and credit unions will not call you to ask for your personal information over the phone.
  • Use mobile apps such as RoboKiller, HiYa, or TrueCaller to block spam calls.

If you suspect a caller ID spoofing scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

Prince George’s Community Federal Credit Union is committed to helping members keep their financial information secure. Please join us for ID Protection Day this September.

When: Saturday, September 21st (9 am to noon or until trucks reach capacity)
Where: Largo Plaza Shopping Center (on rt. 214 facing Lowe’s and Target)
10500 Campus Way South, Largo, MD 20774

It’s estimated that nearly 60 million Americans fell victim to identity theft in just the last year alone. And, the numbers are rising. Join us for ID Protection Day to begin taking steps to help safeguard you and your family. Bring up to 3 boxes of your personal information, account statements, legal documents to be shredded for free. Plus, bring the kids for face painting and a free Fingerprinting kit!

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