Neighbor Scam: 10 area codes most likely to be targeted

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Neighbor Scam: 10 area codes most likely to be targeted
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If your phone rings and it looks like a local call, is it safe to answer it? Not so fast!

For years, criminals have been using a tactic to spoof the first six digits of someone’s phone number to trick them into picking up the phone — and it’s called the Neighbor Scam.

Now, Team Clark has learned that scammers are switching up their strategy to rip off even more people!

RELATED: The new way thieves are stealing credit card info

Have you received a call from one of these 10 area codes? It could be a robocall scam!

Hiya, a free spam detection app that blocks unwanted calls, says spammers have been spoofing the first six digits of a phone number, but now they’re also mimicking the first five, four or three digits.

It’s an example of how fraudsters have evolved the Neighbor Scam to get you on the line:

“Scammers are never idle with their tactics and, with the Neighbor Scam, they are experimenting with all the ways to spoof their number to get consumers to pick up the phone,” said Jonathan Nelson, Director, Reputation Data of Hiya. “Many consumers are now aware of the Neighbor Scam but it hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to be savvy and attempting to evolve the tactic by calling with similar numbers, whether it’s mimicking the first six digits down to only the area code.”

Hiya says the Neighbor Scam has made up 56% of all phone scams made to its users between January and May 2018. These area codes are most likely to be spoofed:

  1. 602 – Phoenix
  2. 214 – Dallas
  3. 832 – Houston
  4. 210 – San Antonio
  5. 404 – Atlanta
  6. 678 – Atlanta
  7. 704 – Charlotte
  8. 702 – Las Vegas
  9. 623 – Phoenix
  10. 407 – Orlando

If you happen to pick up the phone, you’ll realize it’s not your neighbor calling. Scammers may attempt to obtain your financial information by saying that you owe the IRS money or claiming there’s a warrant out for your arrest.

In other cases, the robocall will offer travel discounts, interest rate adjustments or debt refinancing that you didn’t request.

The key takeaway is that the number on your caller ID can easily be faked! That’s why many people don’t pick up the phone unless they’re 100% sure who’s calling.

After all, if it’s a family member or friend who tried to reach you, they can always leave a voicemail or send a text.

Call blocking services like Hiya may also help. Check out Clark’s list of free and pay services to stop robocalls for good!

More Clark.com scam and ripoff alerts:

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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