You can't always trust your caller ID, warns Georgia's attorney general

AG Chris Carr alerts consumers to schemers using call spoofing technology

By Lauren Verno - Consumer investigative reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - You can't always trust your caller ID, according to a top Georgia official.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr issued a warning about con artists disguising the number on your caller ID to appear to be financial institutions, government entities and other credible organizations. 

It’s called spoofing, and more than likely, it’s happened to you.

The idea of is to entice someone to answer their phone and believe the person they are speaking to is from organizations such as the IRS, the FBI or another law enforcement agency. 

Carr said to watch out for: 

  • Use of scare tactics, such as threatening arrest or saying that a loved one is in danger.
  • Asking for money in order to receive a prize.
  • Promising to recover money lost by scam.
  • Calling with get-rich-quick promises.
  • Requesting money transfers or gift cards.

The Federal Communications Commission announced this month that it is enforcing the RAY BAUM'S Act, which bans falsifying caller ID information via text message and international calls. The FCC also authorized service providers to offer blocking services for unknown callers. Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile have made the service available to subscribers.

The best advice to beat spoofers is simple -- never assume that someone is who they purport to be just because the number displayed on your caller ID matches that of an organization you know. Always be suspicious if you’re asked for your four-digit PIN or full online banking passwords. The same goes for transferring or withdrawing money or giving your card to a courier. 

Remember, your credit union will never ask you to do any of these things, and the IRS will never call you. 

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