Do you get calls from phone numbers with the same area code as your own number and wonder who’s calling?
You’re not alone. Officials say scam reports like these have risen across Florida.
It’s called “Neighbor Spoofing” and it is actually illegal.
Unfortunately, scammers are advancing with technology by mimicking local phone numbers.
These “local” digits disguise where the call is coming from by using your area code to make it look trustworthy enough to answer the phone.
The system powering “neighbor spoofing” calls is able to rotate through phone numbers automatically with a complex matching tool.
Because the technology is fairly new, the calls are difficult to trace right now.
This type of spoofing, or deliberately falsifying information appearing on caller ID, stems from robocalls.
There are two kinds of robocalls. Ones that come from a dentist, bank or pharmacy are legal because users have consented to receive them.
Others, where scammers say you’ve won a prize or a vacation, are fraudulent.
The mission of the later is to access your credit card information or any other personally-identifying data.
Prevention Methods to Take
1. Do Not Answer, Let It Go to Voicemail
If you do answer, never answer yes or press any buttons as those words can be recorded and used later on as a falsified acknowledgment for a purchase or agreement.
2. Report the Call to Both the FCC and FTC
Both government organizations, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have mentioned that this is the number one complaint filed by the public. The FCC has passed a Truth in Caller ID Act which “prohibits any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller id information with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value.” Report a robocall to the FCC here and to the FTC here.
3. Add Yourself to the Do Not Call List
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a national database of phone numbers to prevent telemarketers from making phone calls. Add yourself to the list here.
4. Download a Robocall Blocking App
An app called RoboKiller is actually recommended by both the FCC and FTC to help stop these unwanted calls. Download it for your iPhone here and Android device here.
If you do become the victim of a scam through a robocall and have lost money, provided personal information or have been placed in a threatening situation, call local police immediately.