Yet another wave of scam phone calls has begun to target south central Ohio, and this time the scammers are even harder to identify.
Residents of Minford specifically have been receiving a flood of spam calls that take the scam one step further by utilizing a method of number blocking called neighbor spoofing. This process allows the caller to hide their number and, instead, appear on caller ID as a local number — in some cases even appearing as a number you recognize.
In Patty Golden’s case, that’s exactly what happened. “I received a phone call that appeared to be from an elderly neighbor,” Golden says. “I answered it because I thought it may be some sort of emergency. But on the line was a recording claiming to be calling from card services.”
Golden says she receives dozens of calls from this fraudulent company each day, but only recently have the calls been coming from local numbers. Because of the number on caller ID appearing to be local, certain websites and devices designed to block these types of calls are not effective.
According to a bulletin posted on the Ohio Attorney General’s Office website, the main way to prevent these types of calls is to simply not respond. Suprisingly, even by pressing a number to remove yourself from the call list or by stating you wish to “opt out” of these calls, you are verifying that your phone number is active, which will, more than likely, lead to you receiving more scam calls.
What can you do to stop receiving scam or “robo” calls? The first step is to call or go online to register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Telemarketers will have up to 31 days to remove you from their call list, and if they violate Do Not Call regulations, you can report the calls to the authorities. You will need as much information as possible about the call, such as the phone number which received the call, time and date of call, number that appeared on the caller ID, etc.
According to an article published by Consumer Reports, the neighbor spoofing method of calling has grown significantly in recent years, and makes tracking these telemarketers extremely difficult.
In the event you receive a spam call appearing to be from a local number or known neighbor, do not engage with the call. Instead notify the individual whose number is being spoofed that their number being used for the scam. If someone calls you and claims they have been receiving spam calls from your number, explain the situation and advise them to also register their phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Ultimately, hang up on any calls from these fraudulent companies.
Reach Ivy Potter at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932