I have written frequently about the multitude of tax scams.
And once again, the scammers have found a way to play to and outwit your insatiable curiosity. Here’s one of the latest scams to be aware of, and how it works.
Scammers know that more and more people are screening and not answering calls from unrecognized or private numbers. So now, the crooks have developed software that allows them to display irresistible ‘fake’ numbers.
The Neighbor Ploy
This call has your area code and prefix and potentially could be from a neighbor or nearby business. It’s not the kind of number people are likely to block which increases the scammers’ success rate. In addition, according to some sources, these local numbers make it harder for law enforcement to track.
Then there’s the, “Hey, there’s a call from my own phone number” scam. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would answer a call that seems to be coming from their own number, but it happens. Scammers can simulate calls from your number and so many people just can’t resist answering. Your brain should scream SCAM if you get a call from your own number.
The One-Ring Rip-Off
Criminals sometimes program auto-dialers to make repeated calls to you, each disconnecting after just one ring. The ploy is that this might intrigue you enough to call the number back to complain. Don’t do it – especially when you see area codes 268, 664 and 876. These are Caribbean country area codes that have high per-minute phone charges. One scam involves getting you to call one of those numbers, then getting you to hold through transfers that rack up your bill until a scammer gets on the line and starts a fraudulent pitch.
Can you imagine if the scammers put their genius to work for constructive ends? We might be living in a more peaceful world. As it is though, the scammers do what they do best, and that is scam people out of their hard-earned money. Be alert to all unrecognized numbers. If someone wants to talk to you they can leave a number.
Have a question? Contact Barry Fowler.
Your comments are always welcome!