The number of scam phone calls being made is getting out of control. In September, a whopping 480 million scam calls were placed in America. That's an estimated two scam calls per U.S. adult. Yikes!
One way for people to fight scam and robocalls is to report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). But watch out! Scammers are now posing as the FTC.
Don't fall for this shrewd scam
The FTC is a resource for people to try and stop phone scams in their tracks. Fraudsters know this and are now taking advantage of the public's trust.
The FTC warned this week that scammers are spoofing the FTC's Consumer Response Center's phone number to make scam calls. The criminals are doing this to trick victims into thinking the caller is someone who can be trusted. The number is 877-382-4357.
Warning! Do not answer if you get a call from that number, it is a scam.
The agency wants consumers to know that if you've submitted a report or request to the FTC's Consumer Response Center, the FTC might call you for additional information. However, it will never call you from the 877-382-4357 number.
Additionally, the FTC wants you to know that it will never ask for money or for sensitive information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, or bank account information. You should not let these spoofed calls stop you from reporting scammers. It's still safe to call the Consumer Response Center, and it's also safe to report scams online.
What to do if you get a scam FTC call
The FTC knows scammers are constantly selecting new phone numbers to spoof. Here are its suggestions on staying ahead of scammers and their unexpected calls:
Don't answer the phone
If you get a strange phone call from a government phone number, don't answer. If you want to check to see if it was a legitimate call, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information and call them directly.
Safeguard your information
Do NOT give out or confirm your personal or financial information with someone who calls. Scammers will ask for your Social Security number, banking or credit card information, and maybe even your login credentials to certain websites. Never give this information to unsolicited calls or emails.
Don't wire money
Do not wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name on the caller ID looks legitimate.
If you answer the phone and the caller immediately begins pressuring you for information or payment, hang up. Fraudsters will try and overwhelm people and force them to act quickly so they don't have time to process what's happening. That's a sure sign of a scam.
Report scam calls
If you've received a call from a scammer, with or without fake caller ID information, you should report it to the FTC. Click here to file the report.
Scammers aren't just spoofing government numbers, now they will call you from your own.
With the recent onslaught of robocalls and scams, it's best just to let your phone go to voicemail. It’s a lot tougher to do when your caller ID appears to be from a familiar number or company. But you won't believe this. Scammers are now pretending to be you!