Scammers are using fake caller ID information to trick you into thinking they’re from the FTC — the government agency where people are urged to report scam phone calls.
The bad guys can fake the FTC’s phone number through a common practice called caller ID spoofing.
FTC warns of fake caller ID scam
Here’s what’s going on: People are receiving calls that appear to be from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center’s phone number, which is 877-382-4357, but it’s really a scammer on the other end of the line.
The criminals may ask for information like your Social Security number or bank account number.
According to an FTC news release, if you’ve submitted a report or request to the FTC, you might receive a call, but it will never come from 877-382-4357.
In addition, the federal agency won’t ask for any sensitive information like your SSN.
The FTC is reminding consumers that it’s still safe to call the Consumer Response Center or report scammers through its website at ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
But if you get a call from 877-382-4357, don’t answer it or hang up immediately!
Scammers are constantly picking up new phone numbers to spoof, the FTC said. Here are four tips to help you avoid being ripped off:
- 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.