Telecom trade association group USTelecom is warning consumers about the explosion of caller ID spoofing.
According to the organization the tactic being used works like this; sales people and scammers use technology that makes calls appear to be coming from the recipient’s own number. The victim usually answers the phone out of curiosity. The objective of the scammers is to gather personal information from the victim, phishing.
“We’re hearing a growing number of reports from our members that customers are receiving these intrusive calls utilizing this deceptive method,” explained Kevin Rupy, vice president of law and policy at USTelecom. “Carriers are deeply concerned about this problem and are educating call centers to help customers who experience these calls.”
USTelecom is advising customers to check with their carrier to see what services they provide to block these calls. Some phone companies can enable customers to block certain calls and other companies can provide tools that allow the consumer to send unwanted calls directly to voice mail.
Pindrop Security specializes in phone fraud protection solutions. The company recently confirmed the increasing volume of attacks on consumers and businesses.
Co-founder and CEO of Pindrop Security Vijay Balasubramaniyan stated that over half of the caller ID spoofing attacks aimed at US businesses are from outside the country.
ID spoofing attacks are a serious and growing problem. According to Balasubramaniyan cyber criminals can use a wide range of legal tools that work on smart phones and computers. Some even use voice distortion technology. But he also points out that there is no technology to prevent spoofing. The best way to deal with these calls is to detect them by using technology such as the one provided by Pindrop Security, Balasubramaniyan said.
The Better Business Bureau has three tip for avoiding phone scammers.
1) Consumers are advised not to call back individuals who leave suspicious voice messages because they might be con artists who are after some information they can use.
“Another reason to not return phone calls is that this can expose you to long distance charges. A scam known as ‘One Ring’, is designed to lure callers into calling back at which point they are charged for the call at very high rates,” Balasubramaniyan said.
2) Caller IDs should not be trusted because scammers possess the technology to spoof any number, including the ones of family and friends, which they can obtain through social engineering tactics They can also spoof trusted numbers such as the victim’s bank.
3) Consumers are advised not to hand out any sensitive information over the phone, unless they’re the ones initiating the call and they’re certain that the person they call is trustworthy.
“Don’t give out ANY information to a non-trusted caller. If someone calls you and then says they need to verify who you are, don’t respond. Even email and websites can be suspect,” Balasubramaniyan said.
Breaking it Down
I have a simple suggestion for black people; Don’t trust your phone! Caller ID is a common feature on both home phones and smartphones.What caller ID spoofing does is trick you into answering the phone. Cyber criminals are faking the the number that you see on the caller ID screen. The ugly part of this is that these scammers can use anybody’s phone number to mask their call. So it may or not be your mother calling. And that is why these calls are such a pain.
I say this all the time and I’ll say it again; black people don’t play when it comes to money! If the number is from your bank then simply tell them YOU will call THEM right back. Use the number you know and not the one they give you.
If you don’t recognize the number then don’t answer the phone. If it is important then they will leave a massage or call back. If you recognize the number and its not who they say it is then hang up and call your service provider and report it.
Finally don’t answer any questions from a person you don’t know. Don’t give them any information about yourself or anybody else. One of the really sneaky moves these scammers make is the phony reference call. The caller will ask you for a professional reference for a friend or co-worker. That is how they get you to talk. Its called social engineering. They ask questions about their job performance and work habits and eventually get around to asking questions about their family, children, property and sometimes even more personal questions. You think you’re doing the person a favor but you’re really discussing their life with a cyber criminal. If you get a reference call get the persons name and contact information including the job they are inquiring about and hang up. Call your friend or co-worker and ask if they actually applied for the job and used you as a reference? If not then you know it was a scam attempt.
Now you know.