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Phone scams spreading like wildfire

Phone scams spreading like wildfire
image courtesy of shutterstock

Chances are you have been on the receiving end of one of the one billion scam phone calls made in the United States last year. Phone security company Pindrop Security, made that estimate in its annual State of Phone Fraud report.

According to Pindrop, one in every 2,200 phone calls is a fraudulent call, up 30% from 2013. This means that you are being targeted on an almost daily basis from scammers that want to steal your money and personal information. The phone calls are being made from all over the globe and even on our own soil!

These phone assailants don't just target consumers at home; they also contact huge firms and retailers. Stores that sell high-end expensive merchandise are the most common target. There has even been a recent spike in scammers posing as police officers demanding money to bail family or friends out of jail. And the scary part is that phone thieves can easily change the number that appears on your caller ID. Don't fall for these sneaky tactics and trust your instincts. When something seems off, hang up immediately.

Austin Police Department's Commander of the intelligence division, Joseph Chacon, told NPR that this is something that has been plaguing his department. "We have people that are calling using 'spoof' numbers that are very similar or identical to numbers that we use, that we call from," Commander Chacon said.

Next page: How phone scams are harming your neighborhood
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