We have all at one time or another gotten a call with a caller id that we don’t recognize. The number may look familiar but does not appear in your contact list. Our first knee-jerk reaction is to call the number back immediately. This is assuming that it is, in fact, safe to call back in the first place.
However, according to Adam Levin, author, and founder of CyberScout, you may want to rethink hitting the dial button. He warns that spammers are upping their game, and are very good at using familiar looking caller ids. This basically means that just because a caller id may show that it is from your area code, the truth is it most usually isn’t. The spammers use these tactics to deceive you into a sense of trust and familiarity.
An 800 number would most commonly be ignored, but when the call comes in from a number associated with your home town, that is when many will take the chance and call back. Levin states that is where the spammers tactic works in that people, are innately curious, and as a result, worry if they think they have missed an important call.
The problem with calling back, as rationalized by the CEO and president of Identity Theft Resource Center, Eva Velasquez, is that you are verifying that the number called is indeed attached to a real life person.
And, you are also confirming that you are willing to call back, even if the number is an unknown one. All this really achieves is putting you at risk for scammers to continue to call you back, many at all hours of the day and night.
The scammers will then again step up their game, and bravely try to get you to divulge private, sensitive information, in an attempt to steal your identity—or worse.