Scammers finding new ways to get your personal information - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Scammers finding new ways to get your personal information

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There's been a spike in phone scams across the nation but now scammers are using numbers that are close to your own.

The Federal Trade Commission says the increase in robocalls is because of technology. Internet-powered phone systems make it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls anywhere in the world.

Many Tennessee Valley residents are familiar with scammers acting as telemarketers calling from 1-800 numbers in an attempt to get your social security number and date of birth.

“Usually when you go on cruises and stuff you know you'll get random phone calls from other places trying to say oh yeah we have this other cruise line set up,” Tim Sutton, a potential scam victim, said. 

Now there's a new phone scam spreading across the country. 

It's called "spoofing." It's where criminals are using familiar numbers to get you to answer and collect your information.

“Very strange that an area code from where I’m from that's calling me and it's no one that I remember,” Michelle Emerson, another potential scam victim, said.

Some scammers can even mimic a number to make it look like someone you know is calling you. 

However, even if a scammer uses the same area code, people like Sami Bolton have come up with their own system to protect themselves against these scams.

“I'm hesitant to answer so I usually let them go to voicemail and normally if they don't leave a voicemail I know it's something that I shouldn't have answered,” Sami Bolton said.

Michelle Emerson said she doesn't answer the phone when the number calls even to ask if her number could be removed from the call list.

“Scared to because I’m afraid that they'll be able to tap into my phone and get the personal data from my phone,” Emerson
 said.

Experts say never give your personal information over the phone unless you made the call yourself.

“That's not anything you want to do at all that's a good way to get scammed and get all your money taken,” Sutton said.

The FTC is working to develop more solutions to stop robocalls. Until then, experts suggest apps like Mr. Number and Truecaller to help alert you to "spoofed" calls.

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