Local community members are reporting an increase in receiving fraudulent phone calls. Criminals disguise themselves by faking another phone number or identity and solicit sensitive information from the person who answers the phone. Common faked identities include the IRS, the Social Security Administration and other businesses and government organizations. It is illegal to use spoofed, or faked, caller ID information when the intent is to defraud, harm or scam someone.
Efforts are being made by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in conjunction with phone service providers to place technical checks and authenticate the source of calls before they even reach their destination. It is expected these authentication checks will be in place by June 2021.
In the meantime, do not assume that the person on the other end of the phone is really calling from the organization that they claim, even if caller ID says that they are. When you get a call:
- Validate the caller. You can hang up and return the call at a good known number, such as the one noted on the organization’s website.
- Refuse to give out sensitive or personal information over the phone, unless you’ve made the phone call to a number that you have validated.
- Stay calm and don’t respond to threats. Scammers will use threats and scare tactics to get you to respond.
- If you think that the call is fraudulent, contact the misrepresented organization.
If you receive a phone call like this, please hang up and do not provide any information. If you believe you may have disclosed information in what you suspect may be a spoofed call, please contact us at 800.922.6872 so we can assist with protecting your accounts and your identity.
For more information about spoofing and how to protect yourself, please visit the Federal Communications Commission website.