Consumer Alert: Don’t fall for caller ID scam

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. –  The Mid-South Better Business Bureau has issued an alert about a caller ID scam.  They say area residents have been getting illegal marketing calls that display their own phone number on the caller ID.

Curiosity of course leads consumers to answer, but the BBB says the best move is to hang up and delete the messages.

“When you see your own number on caller ID, it makes you wonder what it’s all about. We’re advising people to not let curiosity or confusion make them answer the phone,” says BBB President Randy Hutchinson.

According to the BBB, here’s how the scam works:

Your phone rings and you see your own name and/or phone number pop up on caller ID. If you answer, a computerized message delivers a marketing message, such as claiming to be able to lower your credit card interest rates, which of course, means they will require your credit card number.

In some cases, consumers are informed they can supposedly opt-out of future calls by pressing “1” or speak to a representative by pressing “2”. Pressing any number simply tells the computerized dialer that yours is a good, working number, which can lead to more telemarketing and scam calls.

The BBB also says spoofing your own number may also help fraudsters beat new call-screening services that rely on blacklists of known robocallers and illegal telemarketers to help block unwanted calls.

A person’s own phone number is not likely to be on the blacklist, so these telemarketers hope to beat the filtering software by spoofing that number.

If this happens to you, ignore the call.  As always, if the call is from a legitimate company, the representative will leave a message.