Old Phone Scam Re-emerges
It's probably happened to you. It's happened to me several times. Your phone rings You look at your caller ID and the call is coming from YOUR number, the ID perhaps even showing YOUR name. You stare in wonderment - "what the h%&* is going on?" It's called "spoofing". This scam has been around for many years. The Federal Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 states that using caller ID spoofing to defraud someone is a crime. Chances are the scam artist will try to obtain personal information, Social Security number, bank account number, credit card number, etc., perhaps guaranteeing you that they can lower or wipe out your credit card debt.
What should you do if you receive a call from your own number? Most importantly, don't answer. If it's too late and you've already picked up the phone, hang up immediately. NEVER give out any personal information. Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission "FTC" or the Federal Communications Commission "FCC". Contact the FTC at 877-382-4357 and the FCC at 888-225-5322. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission also has authority over local telephone services and scams such as caller ID spoofing. They may be reached at 651-296-7174. If you believe you have lost money to a telephone or other scam, report it to your local police department. If you are at all suspicious or you don't know the caller, don't give out any information. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be aware.