While not necessarily new, crooks are resorting to spoofing consumers’ own phone numbers in a fresh spade of scam attempts…
The number of robocalls hit an all-time high in 2019, totaling 58.5 billion. This figure represents a 22 percent increase from the year prior in 2018, and a whopping 92 percent increase compared to 2017. The number for this year might increase or decrease, depending on a number of factors.
Regardless, shysters are employing a familiar tactic with a somewhat new strategy — calling consumers on their phones from their own phone numbers.
Robocallers Spoofing American Consumers Own Phone Numbers in New Scam
Some American consumers are (ostensibly) getting robocalls from their own phone numbers. Of course, it’s a trick, designed to increase the chances of creating new victims. After all, people are curious by nature and seeing an incoming call from their own numbers are just too tempting to resist.
The FTC or Federal Trade Commission warns people not to pick up the phone. In fact, any interaction will only trigger more calls. Instead, it’s best to just ignore them or suffer even further harassment.
The purpose of the calls is to extract personal information for one of a number of nefarious reasons. Mostly, to rip consumers off. Some are IRS scams, others having to do with fake purchases or travel plans, and so on.
Bikram Bandy of the Federal Trade Commission explains on the government agency’s blog the following:
“Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake or ‘spoof’ caller ID information. They can make it look like they’re calling from a different place or phone number. Even your number. Scammers use this trick as a way to get around call-blocking and hide from law enforcement. They hope you’ll be curious enough to pick up. Don’t fall for it.”