WHAT IS CALLER ID SPOOFING?
Caller ID spoofing is when a caller uses technology to hide the actual phone number they are calling or sending a text from and display another phone number in the Caller ID. You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be extremely careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information. As a reminder – BTES will never ask anyone to purchase a gift card to pay their bill and we don’t ask for credit card information over the phone.
TIPS TO STAY SAFE
- Don't answer calls from unknown numbers.
- If you answer the phone and the caller (or a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
- Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with "Yes" or "No."
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords, or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
- If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company's website to verify the authenticity of the request.
- Use caution if you are being pressured to give out information.
AN EXAMPLE OF CALLER ID SPOOFING
John Smith received a call on his cell phone that appeared to come from his bank. The person on the line identified herself as Cindy from the Fraud Department at his bank and told John there had been a fraud attempt on John’s checking account.
Cindy (actually a scammer) asked John if he made a purchase at Walmart for $608.25. John said that he did not make that purchase. Cindy asked John to verify his online banking username and John gave it to her. Cindy told John that she was going to send a one-time verification PIN to his cell phone so she could verify his identity.
Cindy used John’s online banking username to log in to his online banking system and clicked on “Forgot Username or Password” to generate a text message from the bank's real phone number with verification code. When John received the text message with the verification number, he read it back to Cindy over the phone, which allowed the scammer to access his account. Once Cindy could access John’s account through online banking, she could see and read back his actual bank transactions, making it appear like she was from his bank.
At this point Cindy has access to everything she needs to set up payments and take money out of John’s account.
If you think you've been the victim of a spoofing scam, you can file a complaint with the FCC. For more information, visit www.fcc.gov/spoofing