PORTLAND, Ore. -- We’ve heard of telemarketing scams where imposters pose as the Internal Revenue Service or local police. But here’s a new one: Scammers are calling people claiming to be from KGW News.
“I thought, 'KGW? What is this? Why are they calling?'” asked Debbie Walker of Portland.
Walker was surprised to see KGW appear on her caller ID. When she answered, an automated message said it was from card services and offered to lower her interest rates.
Walker hung up and alerted the KGW about the imposter.
Four days later, Walker’s home phone rang again. Once again, it displayed KGW on the caller ID. This time she spoke with the scammer who requested information.
“I think he was probably looking for a credit card number, social security number, something that I would be willing to give him,” said Walker.
When asked if the man was from KGW, Walker said the caller explained he was from card services and quickly hung up.
Fraudsters use technology to create a fake caller ID. The tactic is called “Spoofing.” Imposters can dial anywhere in the world and pretend to be the IRS, the sheriff’s office, or even someone you trust like a relative. They don’t care whose phone number they use.
“I think that it is crazy and I think the phone companies should get involved and they should stop cause it is annoying,” said Walker.
The FTC provides the following tips for handling these calls:
- If you get a strange call from the government, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information. Government employees won’t call out of the blue to demand money or account information.
- Don’t give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
- Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
- Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sure sign of a scam.