Scammers might call you from your own phone number

As soon as we get more information about scams, it seems con artists come up with even more deceptive ways to defraud people.

Many scams involve someone calling you, perhaps saying your computer has a virus and they need money to fix it, or even pretending to be a loved one asking for money to be wired in an emergency.

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.

Getty Images | Sean Gallup

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.

https://twitter.com/getterman/status/908423084004265984

One person described it as “unsettling.”

https://twitter.com/Brookebeeb/status/915751794772504576

Apparently, it’s been affecting quite a few people.

Another person even got a voicemail from the scammers.

https://twitter.com/dontfindcamille/status/915338071784046594

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.

Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

“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.

Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

“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.

Getty Images | Cameron Spencer

If it wasn’t a scammer, the caller can leave a voicemail and you can call them back.

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.

About the Author

Kaitlin Gates

Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a degree in journalism and psychology. Along with Don't Waste Your Money, she also writes for Simplemost, where she covers new product and food launches and overall general news. You can email her at kaitlingateswrites@gmail.com or find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/KaitlinGatesWrites. More.

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