Growing up, there was one birthday card I was always hesitant to open. It was one from a family friend who liked to put glitter on the inside of cards to “make them fun.” When I first opened one of these glitter bombs, my naïve 7-year-old self thought it was cool. Then I had to clean it. I just got a chore for my birthday, thanks. Much like glitter to a carpet, the act of spoofing isn’t going away anytime soon.
Spoofing is when the caller ID on your phone has been manipulated to hide the true identity of the caller, be it the number, name, or both. It’s tempting to answer a call and provide information to a caller when you think you know who they are or where they’re calling from. And that’s exactly what “spoofers”, for lack of a better sounding term, are counting on.
Take a quick look at some of the more common spoofing phone scams so you can be weary if one comes around.
What to do if you suspect you’re on the phone with a spammer:
Hang up. The longer you’re on the phone with them, the more chances they have to convince you to fork over personal information or wire them money.
Do a little recon. If you want to ensure peace of mind and verify that you haven’t indeed missed a free cruise, then look up the number. Is it legit? Sweet, you’re the .00001% who scored a sweet deal, pack your sunscreen and call them back. If you’re with the rest of the 99.9999% population [you are], then you just saved yourself from a scam.
Report it. For every person that thinks, “I’m sure somebody else already reported this, so I won’t,” a puppy dies. Save the puppies. Report the scam.