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Scam Calls: Receiving a Call from Your Own Number
Getting a call from your own number might seem like a strange and intriguing situation, but it’s a clear scam alert! Scammers are getting craftier, and they’re now using tactics like spoofing to exploit our curiosity. So, before you answer that call, here’s what you need to know about this type of scam and why it’s dangerous.
What is Caller ID Spoofing?
Caller ID spoofing is a deceptive practice employed by scammers to make you answer their calls. It plays on your natural curiosity, making you wonder why your own number is calling you. Scammers achieve this by using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone services, websites offering caller ID spoofing services, or specialized computer programs. It’s a serious threat that can lead to financial loss or even identity theft.
What Happens if You Answer a Call from Your Own Number?
While it’s strongly advised not to answer such calls, there are instances when you might inadvertently do so. Scammers typically employ two tactics in such situations. Firstly, they may use technology to add fraudulent charges to your phone bill. Secondly, they might try to manipulate you into sharing sensitive information like your Social Security number or credit card details. Both scenarios can result in financial loss or identity theft.
How to Handle Spoofed Calls
When your own number appears on your phone’s screen, the safest course of action is to let the call go to voicemail. Do not answer it. Afterward, report the scam call to your phone provider, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), or your state’s Public Utilities Commission. If you’ve fallen victim to the scam and suffered financial loss, don’t hesitate to file a report with your local police.
Legal Consequences for Scammers
It’s important to note that federal law, specifically the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, prohibits the malicious manipulation of caller ID information. This law makes it illegal to knowingly alter or manipulate caller identification information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.