The Better Business Bureau is warning people to be wary of possible scam callers, even if the caller ID says the number is local or belongs to a local business you trust.
The BBB says some scammers are using a technique called spoofing, in which scam artists attempt to trick consumers into thinking a legitimate business is calling in order to obtain personal information over the phone.
"Technology has made it easier and provided new options for scammers," explained BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty. "By hijacking the names and phone numbers of companies with which you are familiar, the callers attempt to gain your trust in hopes they can trick you into handing over important financial information."
Things to consider before responding to unsolicited phone calls:
- If you did not initiate the call, do not provide bank account, credit card or social security numbers over the phone. First do your research to make sure you are talking to a legitimate representative of whatever company, warns the BBB.
- Don't rely on caller ID as scammers can make it appear as though their calls are coming from a legitimate business or organization.
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn't seem right, end the call.
Report fraudulent activity by calling the BBB Hotline at 800-649-6814 or by going to www.bbb.org.