Tag: spoofing

Robocalls are getting center stage these days, but as they get more and more attention, are you aware that there are different types of unwanted calls, and all these types of calls aren’t necessarily from robots?

Just like apples, that come in a variety of types such as Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, and Pink Ladies, phone scammers are tricking you with a variety of ways to steal your identity or personal information.

Now’s the time to test your phone scam knowledge. How many of these phone tactics can you pinpoint as a type of phone scam? Good luck!

Unwanted Scam 1:
It’s three months after tax season, and you’ve just received a call informing you that there is a warrant out for your arrest due to your involvement with tax fraud. If you do not want drastic measures to be executed, they tell you that you must call the IRS back at the following number.

a) Bobbing
b) Phishing
c) Wading
d) Floating


Phishing: When you receive a fraudulent message that tricks you into believing it’s from a legitimate establishment (bank, IRS, phone company etc.), that is called phishing. Scammers will give you phone numbers to call that will try to acquire your personal information and steal your identity.

Unwanted Scam 2:
You receive a text message that states your bank account has been compromised and your account has been suspended. The only way to reactivate your account is to click on a link to verify your personal information.

a) SMiShing
c) Bumping
d) Crashing


SMiShing (SMS phishing): When a scammer sends a text message that tries to trick you into clicking a link. The link then downloads a virus or other malware onto your mobile device. These scams try to look like legitimate alerts from your bank, however, it’s a scam to steal money from your account.

Unwanted Scam 3:
You get a call but you don’t recognize the number. However, they do have a local area code so it must be someone from your area, right?

a) Spelunking
b) Sketching
c) Kerplunking
d) Spoofing


Caller ID Spoofing: When a caller disguises themselves, by name or number (or both!), by transmitting information to your caller ID display. This tactic is often used to trick consumers into giving away personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally.

Unwanted Scam 4:
Your phone rings and when you pick up, you hear an automated recording alerting you that your credit card has had fraudulent activity. The automated messaged then instructs you to enter your credit card number on the key pad to confirm your account.

a) Frying
b) Crabbing
c) Vishing
d) Curling


Vishing (Voice phishing): When a scammer steals a consumer’s personal information or money using the telephone network. They claim to be from a legitimate company and request your personal information to resolve the so-called financial issue.

So, how’d you do? Whether you got them all right on your first try, or maybe just one or two, we hope that seeing and hearing these real-life examples will help keep you safe the next time a scammer comes to call.

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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.

Common Spoofing Scams:
IRS Scam
Student Loan Scam
Jury Duty Scam
Grandparent Scam

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.

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