Caller Identification (“Caller ID”) allows you to identify a caller before you answer your telephone. However, Caller ID service is susceptible to fraud, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Division of Consumer Affairs. Using a practice known as “spoofing”, callers can deliberately falsify the telephone number and/or name relayed as the Caller ID information to disguise the identity of the calling party. Consumer Affairs suggests the following:
- Don’t give out personal information in response to an incoming call. Identity thieves often pose as representatives of banks, credit card companies, utilities, creditors or government agencies (such as the IRS) to get people to reveal their personal financial information.
- If you get an inquiry from a company or government agency seeking such information, don’t provide it. Instead, hang up and call the number on your account statement or the company’s or government agency’s website to find out if the entity that supposedly called you actually needs the requested information.
- Please let the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) know about ID spoofers by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC or filing a complaint at www.fcc.gov/complaints.
Consumer Affairs can be reached at 340-3260.