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Caller ID spoofing refers to the practice where a caller utilizes caller spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number they’re using to call your phone, so you see a false phone number on your Caller ID. This way, you could receive a phone call that seems to be coming from your local bank, government agency, or a company you recognize, but in a real sense, the call is from a spoofer, a.k.a, scammer.

How Criminals Use Caller ID Spoofing To Swindle Bank Customers

Lately, cybercriminals have resorted to Caller ID spoofing to deceive bank account holders into giving them their personal and banking information. These scammers pose as bank employees and convince you to share your banking information such as online banking password and username, PIN, or debit card number.

Scammers find a legitimate reason to trick you. Mostly, they’ll tell you they have detected suspicious fraud activities targeting your account, and they need your banking information to secure your account. They then use the information to access your bank accounts and defraud you or use your identity to commit credit card fraud.

Here’s a case in point:

Jake, (a scammer) spoof calls Alice (a bank customer) and asks her if she has made a $780.50 purchase on Amazon. Alice says no. Jake then asks Alice to verify her online banking username so Jake can identify and block the fraud (which is fake). A worried Alice shares her username, and Jake tells her to expect a one-time verification pin on her phone.

Using Alice’s username, Jake accesses her online banking system and triggers a password reset by clicking on the “Forgot Username or Password” button. The bank’s system automatically sends Alice the verification pin via text message, which Alice shares with Jake. With access to Alice’s account, Jake can see her actual transactions that he reads back to Alice to sound authentic. Jake then proceeds to steal Alice’s money and personal information.

Advanced Caller ID Spoofing

In most cases, you can tell it’s a spoof call when the scammer asks for your PIN or online banking passwords too soon or attempts to scare you with overstated consequences. In that case, you’ll do the right thing — hang up, then call the bank yourself. However, scammers found a way to flip the script.

So, fraudsters will spoof call you and tell you they have detected fraud on your account. But instead of asking for your personal information right away, they’ll ask you to call your bank using the number printed at the back of your bank card (this will be the same number they used to call you). However, they’ll leave the line open on their end, use a fake dial tone, and answer your call. At this point, you’ll be convinced you’re talking to a legitimate bank employee, so you’ll be less wary of sharing your banking information.

How To Avoid Caller ID Spoofing

The sure-fire way to avoid falling prey to spoofers is not sharing your personal banking information, especially your PIN, online banking password or username, or your debit card number with anybody, especially over the phone, text, or email. Western Bank will never call you to ask for your PIN, debit card number, full Social Security Number, or your online banking username or password. So, whenever any caller asks you to share your personal banking information over the phone or via text message, hang up immediately and contact Western Bank at (800) 500-1044.

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