Leveraging a spoofed (fake) caller id, telemarketers will call victims pretending to be someone other than who they are actually are in order to collect money or commit identity theft. For example, they may call from a spoofed Citibank number, and then pretend to be a Citibank representative with questions about your account.
Scam artists involved in this scheme, once having confirmed some comfort on your side, try to request additional personal information, and try to “verify” your Account #, Address, Social Security, etc. In certain cases they are not seeking money directly from you, but will use your information to open credit accounts and commit identity theft. There have been a variety of these scams in existence over time, with people claiming to be from the Government, IRS, Law Firms, National Security, distant Family Relatives, etc. Below are some examples of how these schemes have been conducted in the past.
- Jury Duty scams in the past involved scammers pretending to be court officials claiming that the victim missed their Jury Duty date. When the victim replies this is not the case, they suggest it may be an error in their system and request their Name, Address, and Social Security number to confirm it is a mistake.
- IRS scams involve scammers pretending to be IRS clerks looking for additional information to process payment or received or due, needing to simply verify some of the information provided, they will try to collect Name, Social Security Number, etc.
- Government Grant scams suggesting to victims that they are eligible, or are already the recipient of a government grant of $10,000, and that to receive the reward you will need to provide your bank account information for them to deposit the money
- Law Firm scams involves scammers calling to pretend to be from a Law Firm contacting the caller regarding an issue that has been raised. When the victim responds that they are not involved with the mentioned issue, the Law Firm requests additional information to validate that this is the case.
It is best simply to remember that for the most part you will not be contacted proactively to collect any personal information, and as a rule of thumb never give information to someone who calls you. If you are uneasy, simply hang up, and call back the company that you allegedly received the call from.