Beware of phone scammers using local numbers

Phone scammers spoofing local numbers

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(KTHV) - Familiar-looking numbers are the latest twist in robocalls. It’s the latest scam known as neighbor spoofing.

Here's something that may sound annoyingly familiar.

Your cell phone rings, and the number that flashes across the screen has the same area code and prefix as yours.

It happened to Mike Rohrer, Vice President at the Better Business Bureau of Arkansas.

"I received a call on my cell phone from somebody, it was a robocall with an automated computer voice," he said.

It's been happening non-stop around central Arkansas

Rohrer said robocalls aren't new, but now scammers are illegally disguising their identities under familiar-looking numbers to get people to pick up their phones.

"When you answer a call from a number you don't know you've confirmed that they've got a good number," Rohrer explained, "Your number becomes valuable and they could sell it or remarket it."

So, how do you stop endless robocalls?

One thing you can do is avoid sharing your number on social media profiles or contest entries. The Better Business Bureau also recommends Googling your number.

But the best advice of all is to ignore the phone call, according to Rohrer.

"Just don't answer it," he said. "If you let it go to voice mail they generally won't leave you a voice mail."

Rohrer said “The Do Not Call List” is an option, but more than likely won't stop the calls.

"The problem is it works for legitimate businesses, but these are not legitimate businesses," he said.

If a phone number calls you multiple times and you know you don't want to answer, you can block it on your phone.

Every phone is different, so check with your carrier to figure out how the blocking process works.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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