Originally Published: October 26, 2017 6:01 a.m.
Scammers are using fake caller ID information to trick you into thinking they’re someone who can be trusted. The practice is called caller ID spoofing, and scammers can fake anyone’s phone number.
This week, the Federal Trade Commission received reports that scammers are spoofing the FTC’s Consumer Response Center’s phone number (877-382-4357). But don’t let that stop you from reporting scammers — it’s still safe to call the Consumer Response Center, and it’s also safe to report scammers online.
If you’ve submitted a report or request to the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, the FTC might call you for additional information. But they won’t call you from 877-382-4357. And the FTC will never ask for money or for sensitive information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, or bank account information.
Scammers are constantly picking new phone numbers to spoof. Here are a few tips for staying ahead of scammers and their unexpected calls:
- If you get a strange call from a government phone number, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information.
- Don’t give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
- Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
- Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sure sign of a scam.
If you’ve gotten a call from a scammer, with or without fake caller ID information, report it to the FTC.