Scammers take aim at personal information with fake caller IDs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Scammers take aim at personal information with fake caller IDs

(WMC-TV) - Kids have been using fake IDs for decades for access to a number of things.  Now, scammers are doing the same thing, only they want access to your information.

When Liz Rohrback saw Bank of America on her caller ID, she answered.  It was her mortgage company and she had been in touch with them earlier that week.

This time, Rohrback said something was different.

"It didn't sound the same," she said.  "Her English wasn't good, it was vague and she was asking for all this information."

Sensing the call might be a scam, Rohrback opted not to release any personal information.  She then called the bank.

"They said, 'we do have a number with the last four numbers 6000, but the first numbers don't match up with any records,'" said Rohrback.  "And he checked it twice."

Rohrback later posted an alert on Facebook.  That was when she learned scam artists can fake a number on your caller ID.

Tom Bartholomy with the Better Business Bureau said the scammer can make a caller ID say whatever they want using a special device or phone application.

"Technology not only allows them to hide their identity, but make it look like your real bank," said Bartholomy.

Bartholomy said legitimate companies will never call you to ask for personal information.  He said if you are unsure, say you are going to call the bank yourself for verification.

Rohrback did just that thanks to a hunch that might have saved her identity from being stolen.

There are legal services online that supply fake caller ID numbers.  Scambusters.org  reports the sites touting so-called benefits of caller ID spoofing, like maintaining the privacy of your caller ID number and fooling friends and business associates.

The bottom line is anyone with a few bucks can buy these numbers, so take precautions before you give out any personal information.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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