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Calls from Your Own Phone Number—How is it Possible?

"Shelly" and her family sat down to dinner when the phone rang. Before she answered the call, Shelly looked at the caller ID and saw her own name and phone number! She answered the call and heard a recording that offered to lower her credit card interest rate. Shelly hung up and reported the call to her phone company.

Scam artists now use technology to make a person's caller ID show their own name and phone number-making it appear as though a person is calling him or herself. These scam artists are falsifying-or "spoofing"-caller ID information. Spoofing scams are often perpetrated by criminal gangs located outside the state or country attempting to mask their identity and evade law enforcement.

Under the Federal Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, using caller ID spoofing to defraud someone is a crime. Scam artists who use spoofing technology perpetrate so-called card services scams, medical alert device scams, and a number of other scams. These scams are usually designed to steal money or personal information, so it is very important to be wary of calls that appear to come from your own name and phone number. You should never provide your personal or financial information to unknown callers. Theft of personal and financial information is a crime and should be reported to local authorities.

It is generally a good idea not to answer a phone call that appears to be from your own phone number. There is typically no legitimate reason for a person to receive such a call, and by answering, the scam artist is notified that your number is active, often leading to more scam calls. Unfortunately, scammers who use caller ID spoofing to steal money or personal information ignore established means of stopping unwanted calls, such as the National Do Not Call Registry, and are not dissuaded from calling by the fact that a person's number is on the no-call list.

If you receive a call that appears to come from your own name and telephone number, you should take the following steps:

Related Posts:

The Do Not Call Registry and Unwanted Calls

Many people are bombarded by unwanted telephone calls - even though they are on the Do Not Call Registry. The problem is difficult to stop because the scam artists increasingly use modern technology - including caller ID spoofing and throw-away cell phones - to conceal their identity and location and evade law enforcement.

Credit Services Scams

People are being bombarded with scam telephone calls that promise to help lower their credit card interest rates. When people return the calls or press their keypad as directed, however, they may be contacting debt assistance scam artists or identity theft crime rings

Medical Alert Scams

Across the country, senior citizens report receiving phone calls that offer "free" medical alert systems. But these systems are not free. Scammers scare and defraud seniors by convincing them to disclose their private information and then use this information to commit identity theft or drain bank accounts.