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Call it Spoofing or S-BOO-fing – It’s No Treat

We held our 2019 Citizens Academy this past weekend. I look forward to this event every year. The day provides an opportunity to understand the inner workings of our office and allows me to engage with citizens of Denver. This year was no different; the audience was engaged in the discussions and had terrific questions.

As for the scam of-the-month, one day I hope to be able to say that the Federal Communications Commission has found a way to stop fraudulent telemarketers, While it seems there is progress with this effort, the scammers continue dialing for dollars with all of us being their target victims.

If you would like more information about how to protect yourself and your family from fraud and identity theft, please contact amc@denverda.org to schedule a free presentation.

BOO to SPOOFING

Spoofing is when a caller deliberately masks the number on your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Scammers often use “neighbor spoofing” so the number appears to come from a neighbor, a local number, or from a company that you already know and trust. If your number is the one spoofed, you may not find out until you start receiving calls from angry people who think you were the one who called trying to sell something or even to defraud them. One woman said she received about five calls a day for months from angry people thinking she had been the telemarketer making fraudulent sales calls.

Sometimes scammers use spoofed numbers for robocalls with a real person using a script to make you think you are working with a company you know. The caller will try to convince you to give out a password or a PIN to your bank account. Never “try to find out who called” by calling the number that appeared on your caller ID. Use a customer service number on a bill or account statement to find the official phone number.

Here are some ways to avoid being spoofed:
• Do not answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer and it is not who you expected, do not hang on, hang up.
• If a caller asks you to hit a button to stop getting calls, just hang up instead.
• Never assume an unexpected call is legitimate. Hang up and call back using a number you can verify on a bill, a statement, or an official website.
• Be suspicious. Con artists can be very convincing: They may ask innocuous questions, or sound threatening, or sometimes seem too good to be true.
• Do not give out personal information – account numbers, Social Security numbers or passwords – or answer security questions.
• If you feel pressured for immediate payment, use extreme caution. Ask your phone company about call blocking tools for landlines or apps for mobile devices.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is working with telecom companies and technology experts to detect and block spoofed numbers. File a complaint with the FCC if your number is being used to spoof.

As always, if think you have been scammed; call our DenverDA Fraud Line 720-913-9179