Don’t be fooled by the phone number on your caller ID…

Who Is It Targeting: Phone users

What Is It: Spoofing scam that steals your information

What Are They After: Changing your phone number so that it appears differently on someone’s caller ID is a very simple process. Scammers have reportedly changed their phone numbers to be everything from utility companies to banks to local police departments. A new scam, though, takes it up a notch: callers have changed their numbers to be the US Department of Homeland Security (Office of Inspector General, 1-800-323-8603), and claim to work for US Immigration.

There’s little doubt that immigration and deportation are “hot topics” in the news right now, and scammers are taking advantage of all the press coverage. They claim that the victim’s identity has already been stolen, and request all of their personal identifiable information in order to “verify” it.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • NEVER give out your information to someone who calls you.
  • Don’t trust the caller ID screen to prove someone’s identity or position.
  • If you’re ever contacted about an issue with your account, your information, or another similar issue, hang up and contact the company/organization directly using a verified phone number.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from WTOP.com.