Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine warned that since last week, more than 30 consumers across Ohio have reported receiving “spoofed” phone calls, or calls that appear to come from the consumer’s own phone number or from a number very similar to their own.
“Altering the number that appears on a consumer’s caller ID is one of many tactics con artists may use to make their scams seem convincing,” DeWine said. “No matter what number appears on your caller ID, keep your guard up and watch for phone scams.”
Caller ID spoofing generally refers to the practice of altering or disguising the phone number reflected on a consumer’s caller ID.
In this case, the phone number listed on the caller ID may be identical to or only a few digits off from the consumer’s own phone number, making it appear to be a local call. For example, a consumer whose phone number is 330-555-0104 may get a call from 330-555-0108.
The callers generally offer “credit card services,” such as lowering credit card interest rates. Most consumers do not report losing money or providing personal information in response to the calls.
To protect themselves from phone scams, consumers should remember the following:
• Be skeptical of the phone number that appears on your caller ID. It could be spoofed.
• When in doubt, hang up or don’t answer.
• Don’t respond to suspicious calls. Even if the call prompts you to press a button to “opt out,” don’t do it. This could cause you to receive more calls, because it signals that yours is a legitimate phone number.
• Never provide money or personal information to someone who calls you unexpectedly, even if it appears to be a local call.
Consumers who suspect scams or unfair business practices should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or (800) 282-0515.