How to prevent your number from being 'spoofed' by scammers

Phone scammers mimicking your number could now face criminal charges -- and a hefty fine, thanks to a new state law signed by Governor Haslam

KNOXVILLE, TN - If you have been getting a lot of phone calls recently that seem like scams, you are not alone.

Scammers are increasingly using a technique called “spoofing” to try to trick unsuspecting callers into sending money or giving out personal information.

If you have ever gotten a call from a number that looks very similar to your own, it is most likely a scammer masking their real number with one similar to yours.

“Spoofing is pretending to be something you are not,” said Kyle Bubp, principal consultant for Knoxville-based Savage Security. “It’s become a lot easier for attackers to spoof their number. You can Google phone number spoofing and you can find free tools to do it today.”

A new law signed by Tennessee's Gov. Bill Haslam charges phone scammers and fines them if they use a misleading or false phone number to make a scam call. The law takes effect July 1.

Scammers who are caught could face a misdemeanor charge and fines up to $10,000.

“My number has actually called me before,” said Sarah Reed, a Knoxville woman who has recently received countless scam calls.

She now uses an app called Hiya to alert her when a phone call may be a scam.

“It’s flagged as a scam and when it rings it shows up red and it gave me the option to block it so I block it and they cannot call me," Reed explained. 

The City of Oak Ridge was also recently the target of “spoofing.”

Scammers used a false city phone number to try and access information from their finance department.

%INLINE%

“It sounded somewhat legit, and we checked it out and it was certainly a scam,” said Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson. “If it’s hitting us, it’s also hitting others in the community.”

If you think that a call may be a scam, the easiest thing to do is ignore the call and let it go to voicemail, according to Bubp.

Here are some tips to prevent spoofing from happening to you: 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment