Latest twist on phone scams?

We’ve all heard of phone scams where the caller, using a robotic dialer, a stock message, and a spoofed CID, tries to extract credit card data or sell something.

Like this, (15 secs, audio) recorded a few minutes ago:

At the end, you can hear me trying to press “1” as the desired response. Nothing happened after, and the line eventually hung up.

*69 gave the same number as the CID.

Nothing new, right? But the Caller ID, which we know can be spoofed, gave a local number 2 digits away from one of mine!

I called that number, and the owner confirmed that the number was hers, but claimed ignorance about any kind of automatic call. I think she is believable. Around here, wrong numbers are not insults, and we try to help each other when they inevitably happen.

So my point is that the crooks are getting smarter. They are programming their outgoing CID to be close to the recipient’s number, which makes the recipient think it is a local call.

Is this a reasonable interpretation? Or am I missing something?

I’ve never experienced this, but I can believe it. With caller id many more people are ignoring calls from bogus locations - toll free, unknown caller, clearly messed up numbers. A local number probably increases the chance of someone picking it up thinking it might be a neighbor.
Our phones announce the number, so we don’t even have to get up most times. We would for a real sounding one.

At work I often get robocalls from 5 digit numbers that look like our centrex numbers.

Exactly what I was thinking. I’m used to ignoring “toll free calls” and unknowns, but this one threw me at first. It’s not unusual for me to get a local call that is a mistake. It’s a small enough town that I can often tell the mistaken caller what the correct number is.

Kind of makes a mockery of the entire Caller ID system, doesn’t it?

Indeed. I get many sales and robo calls. I have talking caller ID and ignore almost all calls except those originating in my area code. Lately I’ve had a few which have obviously spoofed the local area code.

I’m off to see if anyone has ever Pitted the “do not call” list.

That’s close to my example, but this was a spoofed 9 out of 10 digits. Could be a coincidence that it matched my number so closely, but that’s awfully close – it just doesn’t seem like a random chance. There are only 2 local landline exchanges plus 3 cellphone ones and everyone knows them.

The Do Not Call List is a joke. Scammers ignore it, and there are many legal exceptions such as political and charity fundraisers. Call yourself a charity and you’re off the hook. Offshore robots have no fear of prosecution, anyway. Sometimes I think they use the DNC list as their primary phonebook.

Rachel From Card Services is calling from INSIDE YOUR HOUSE!

I know. And if she doesn’t lower my annual rate to 0%, she gets the hose again…

I can confirm this one as we got it at the workplace and had to look for information.

Very early we figured out not to reply and just hung up, further research showed that indeed Google is not making calls like this.

Scam update. Today I received this call, claiming to lower my credit card interest rates.

After getting past the robo dialer, I was connected to a live clerk. The clerk’s accent was not Indian or Caribbean, but decidedly not local, either. When I pressed him for the name and address of his company, he said “Card Member Services,” and gave a local address. Here is what google says exists at that address (and rotating the view doesn’t make it much different). I can personally guarantee that this google street view is accurate, and the address is not a business district in the slightest.

The interesting thing is the CID gave a local address and a local phone number, which I found out is not active. Also note that it is 2 digits higher than the previous phone number they sent, although that one did exist, but the owner claimed no knowledge of this company.

So the clerk had access to a local map or database and tried to supply a local address when questioned. Pretty sophisticated scam, no?

I reported this call to the local Sheriff’s office, who referred me to the FBI.

The FBI said they do not accept complaints nor do they investigate telephone crooks. They referred me to the FTC.

I attempted to file a complaint with the FTC. They wanted to know, among other stuff, my age and if I was a veteran. I told them that was none of their business unless they could give me a reason for that data that I could accept. I did not need their help, but I was offering mine to them.

Let’s see if an agent calls me back.

Here’s a scam I’ve been trying to figure out, so perhaps a Doper can explain it to me.

I received a text from a Gmail address and it said that the sender was with UPS and that I had a package waiting for me, but they needed my e-mail address.

I can understand that if I provided the info, they’d be able to send me spam and whatnot, but it just seems like a very “low reward” endeavor, since I’ll just delete all my junk mail or emails that look suspicious.

Am I missing something?

I’ve actually gotten calls like that from a number that caller ID said was (Area Code) 555-1212. <cough>

Today’s crooks are even smarter. The only reason I answered the call was because of the local phone number (I don’t answer ones I don’t know). In my area, local calls are either someone I know or someone who is calling a wrong number and I’m glad to help them find the correct one. This one blindsided me, and I’m sure that was their intent.

You jest but I’ve had my own name & number pop up on my caller ID.

That’s a common scam. If you respond, they know the email they sent it to is “live,” and you are a targetted sucker for future scams. And they may try to trick you into clicking on a web addy in the email, which is not what it appears to be, but installs malware in your computer. Don’t respond to these, ever.

Generally, they want you to click on the link in the email, which will either attempt to load malware, or (more often these days) just take you to some moronic ad.

I gave a snarky response to the text, but I didn’t provide my email address. If anything, future texts might be annoying, but I’ll live.

Verzion lets you block calls and messages from a given number at no extra cost. I would not be surprised if other providers have a similar service. I have used it a couple of times when I received multiple calls or texts from the same number in quick succession.

Yeah, this was sent to my phone number from an email address (I’d never seen that before), so I don’t know if I should expect more text messages from that address, or if I’ll start getting emails from other, similar addresses, or what. It happened last week and I haven’t heard anything since.

Just didn’t make much sense to me, given what they were asking. Nothing about a bank account, social security or any other personal info.