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New phishing scam uses fake caller ID numbers

Published: 22 Mar 2009 21:31:43 PST

In a new phishing scam, con artists are using phony caller ID numbers to solicit personal information and money. Thanks to the phony caller IDs, the "spoofers" are able to convince victims that they're receiving a call from a bank or credit card company -- and use this to acquire sensitive personal and financial information, or even money, from their victims.

The "beauty" of this scam is that few people would ever think that the names and phone numbers appearing on their caller ID screens were not genuine.

What this means is that scammers are already using phony caller IDs and are posing as representatives of banks, credit card companies and government agencies. The problem has reached the point where Senator Bill Nelson from Florida is sponsoring legislation to ban the transmission of false caller ID numbers. "A similar bill has already sailed through the house," reports

Unfortunately, ANYONE with Internet access and a few dollars can find a number of legal online services that supply fake caller ID numbers.

Here are three tips that can help you avoid being scammed:

  1. Don't assume that the information displayed on your phone, regarding who the caller is, is accurate -- now you know it can easily be spoofed.

  2. Never give out personal or financial information over the phone unless you know EXACTLY whom you're dealing with.

  3. If you have doubts about who's on the phone, call back the main number at your bank or credit card company rather than talking to the person who calls you.

Please remember that  you can't trust caller ID to tell "the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

After all, scammers are always finding new ways to con people. However, as long as you stay informed, you can remain one step ahead of the scammers.


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