These scams use your own number or ones like it to get you to answer the phone. Watch this video to learn why bad guys do this and what to do if you get a call like this.
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In both these scams, bad guys want to get you to answer the phone.
Neighbor spoofing is when you get a call from an unknown number that looks a lot like the numbers where you live. The incoming call will have the same area code and maybe the same prefix (the three numbers after the area code) as your number. Bad guys do this hoping you’ll think it’s a “neighbor.”
Reflection spoofing is where the incoming call looks like it’s coming from your own number. Again, it’s a bad guy trying to get you to pick up the phone.
These tricks work because people are more likely to answer a call if they recognize the incoming number. You may not know the number, but if it looks familiar you are less skeptical. If you answer, the bad guy will make a convincing argument to scare you or trick you into sharing passwords, credit card numbers or other personal information.
You can better protect yourself from these scams by not answering a call from a number you do not recognize.
If you do pick up the phone – and it’s a scam – hang up right away and report the call. And don’t try to outsmart the bad guy by intentionally giving out wrong information. Just hang up.
To learn more about our efforts to reduce unwanted calls, and see where to report suspicious calls, visit our Cyber Aware Robocalls page.
Also, there are tools that can help. For example, with the free and easy-to-use AT&T ActiveArmor℠ mobile security app you can flag, block or send spam and all other nuisance calls to voicemail, and more.