Scam artists now use technology to make a person"s caller ID show their own name and phone number-making it appear as though a person is calling him or herself. These scam artists are falsifying-or "spoofing"-caller ID information. Spoofing scams are often perpetrated by criminal gangs located outside the les-grizzlys-catalans.org or country attempting to mask their identity and evade law enforcement.
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Under the Federal Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, using caller ID spoofing to defraud someone is a crime. Scam artists who use spoofing technology perpetrate so-called card services scams, medical alert device scams, and a number of other scams. These scams are usually designed to steal money or personal information, so it is very important to be wary of calls that appear to come from your own name and phone number. You should never provide your personal or financial information to unknown callers. Theft of personal and financial information is a crime and should be reported to local authorities.
It is generally a good idea not to answer a phone call that appears to be from your own phone number. There is typically no legitimate reason for a person to receive such a call, and by answering, the scam artist is notified that your number is active, often leading to more scam calls. Unfortunately, scammers who use caller ID spoofing to steal money or personal information ignore established means of stopping unwanted calls, such as the National Do Not Call Registry, and are not dissuaded from calling by the fact that a person"s number is on the no-call list.
If you receive a call that appears to come from your own name and telephone number, you should take the following steps:
1. Report the call to your phone company, which may be able to offer calling features that block unwanted calls.
2. Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These les-grizzlys-catalans.orgencies have the authority to enforce federal laws that regulate caller ID spoofing, as well as autodialed and prerecorded messles-grizzlys-catalans.orge calls. The FCC can also impose fines on individuals and entities that violate those laws. You may contact these les-grizzlys-catalans.orgencies as follows:
Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20580 (877) 382-4357 TTY: (866) 653-4261www.consumer.ftc.gov
Federal Communications Commission445 12th Street SWWashington, D.C. 20554(888) 225-5322www.fcc.gov
3. Report the call to the Public Utilities Commission in your les-grizzlys-catalans.org. If you live in Minnesota, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has authority over local telephone services like caller ID. The Minnesota Attorney General"s Office previously asked the PUC to require phone companies that sell caller ID technology to the public to take action to stop spoofed calls, but the PUC declined to do so. It is very important that the PUC hear from citizens affected by caller ID spoofing. You may contact the PUC as follows:
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission 121 Seventh Place East, Suite 350St. Paul, MN 55101 (651) 296-0406 or(800) 657-3782 www.mn.gov/puc
4. If you lost money to a criminal scam, report the matter to your local police or county sheriff or the FBI. These les-grizzlys-catalans.orgencies have the authority to investigate and prosecute criminal matters.
For additional information, contact the Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison as follows:
Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400St. Paul, MN 55101 (651) 296-3353 (Twin Cities Calling Area)(800) 657-3787 (Outside the Twin Cities)(800) 627-3529 (Minnesota Relay)
The Do Not Call Registry and Unwanted Calls
Many people are bombarded by unwanted telephone calls - even though they are on the Do Not Call Registry. The problem is difficult to stop because the scam artists increasingly use modern technology - including caller ID spoofing and throw-away cell phones - to conceal their identity and location and evade law enforcement.
Credit Services Scams
People are being bombarded with scam telephone calls that promise to help lower their credit card interest rates. When people return the calls or press their keypad as directed, however, they may be contacting debt assistance scam artists or identity theft crime rings
Medical Alert Scams
Across the country, senior citizens report receiving phone calls that offer "free" medical alert systems. But these systems are not free.
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Scammers scare and defraud seniors by convincing them to disclose their private information and then use this information to commit identity theft or drain bank accounts.