As soon as we get more information about scams, it seems con artists come up with even more deceptive ways to defraud people.
And while most of these scams come from unfamiliar numbers, leading most of us to not answer, a new one might just trick you into picking up the phone.
This time, instead of saying they’re someone else, the scammer is pretending to be you. Yes, you.
Unfortunately, this isn’t your future self warning you not to eat that burrito for lunch and your phone isn’t haunted.
Calling From Your Number
The scammers are simply calling from your own phone number, hoping to confuse you so you’ll pick up.
Multiple people who have received phone calls from “themselves” have taken to social media to share their experiences, hoping they’ll help others to avoid this trap.
Was just on my office phone when my cell started ringing…Am I being haunted? pic.twitter.com/6P855Ffti0
— Smith Getterman (@getterman) September 14, 2017
One person described it as “unsettling.”
Even though I know it's a scam, it's still very unsettling getting a call from your own phone number
— Br👀ke (@Brookebeeb) October 5, 2017
Apparently, it’s been affecting quite a few people.
I just got that phone scam call from my own phone number that's been going around.
— Shauna Stuart (@ShaunaReporter) October 10, 2017
Another person even got a voicemail from the scammers.
Ewwww I got a creepy voicemail saying Call Me from my OWN NUMBER
— camille (@dontfindcamille) October 3, 2017
Despite the familiar number, most of these scammers aren’t local or even the U.S.
Instead, they’re just copying the number by using a computer program, Phylissia Landix of the Better Business Bureau told Texas TV station WFAA.
“Spoofing is when someone who shouldn’t have it will take a computer program that will disguise a telephone number, and you will get a phone call from what it looks like yourself,” Landix said.
Fraudulent Charges—Don’t Pick Up
When you answer one of these calls, scammers use technology that is able to insert fraudulent charges onto your telephone bill.
“The longer time you spend on that phone, the greater chances they can get something done and insert the fraudulent charge,” she said.
Put simply, if you see your own number pop up as an incoming call on your phone, don’t answer. If you do answer, hang up as soon as possible.
If the number is just similar to yours, but you don’t recognize it, again, don’t answer.
If it wasn’t a scammer, the caller can leave a voicemail and you can call them back.
Umm… I just got a phone call from myself/my own number, and it left a 5 second silent voicemail. Now I'm creeped out 😱
— PiercedSky (@PiercedSkyy) September 30, 2017
If you’d rather not just let suspicious numbers go to voicemail, you can sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry.
Also be sure to report potential scams to the Federal Trade Commission.