Just like you and me, scammers work hard to earn their living. So it should come as no surprise that they're constantly coming up with new ways to trick people like you and me into simply handing over our hard-earned cash.
This time around, the FTC is warning people about a phone scam that is using fake caller ID information, called caller ID spoofing, to get victims to send money to what they think is a legitimate agency, such as the police department, a cable provider or another company you do regular business with.
Use the following guidelines, directly from the FTC, as rules of thumb to avoid caller ID scams:
- If you get a strange call from the government, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information. Government employees won’t call out of the blue to demand money or account information.
- Don’t give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
- Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
- Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sure sign of a scam.