The Better Business Bureau of North Alabama is warning residents about Caller ID Spoofing cases taking place in the Tennessee Valley. The purpose of the calls may vary but the troubling issue is that the number appearing on the consumer's caller ID appears to be a local number - in fact in many cases the number is only one digit away from their own number. It might even be the local number for the hospital, fire department, or the credit union.
In reality, the caller is using technology to alter the information that appears on a call recipient's Caller ID display - a practice known as Caller ID Spoofing. The recipient of the calls reads their caller ID display and sees a familiar number or local number and chooses to answers the call.
Consumers are advised to be aware of Caller ID Spoofing technology and understand that the caller's number displayed may not always be the true origin of the call. Some of these spoofing attempts are trying to sell services but others are outright scams designed to trick people into providing personal information. ID theft is one purpose of these type of calls.
Never give out any personal information to a company or individual unless you know with 100% certainty of who you are dealing with. If you receive a call that claims to be from a trusted source, like the credit union, you should not be asked to provide any personal information. If you receive any suspicious calls you should contact the associated organization using a known published telephone number to verify the nature of the initial call.
There have been cases of Caller ID Spoofing where the caller spoofed a local financial institution's name and telephone number. Trust but verify is the best policy!