Voice over IPVoice over IP is an exciting new technology that combines the use of the Internet with the telephone. This technology can make the consumer's life easier by offering extremely low rates for long distance and local calling served over the Internet.
However, these new phone services are also attracting identity thieves and other scam artists who are inventing new tricks to steal and exploit your vital information.
The most recent and threatening scam to the VoIP world is Caller ID spoofing. This technique, which allows scammers to display legitimate companies on the victim's Caller ID, is not prohibited by Federal Law. However, the FCC does require that all telemarketers identify themselves correctly.
Here are a few tips that will help you avoid the threat of vishing (VoIP phishing):
- Never call back a phone number left on your voicemail or sent through email. Look up the appropriate number on your credit card or financial statement, or look up the company and ask the operator for the customer service number.
- If you feel you may have been scammed, provide all information to the company's real customer service number, so they can take action to protect you and their clients.
- Ignore all emails and calls that do not address you correctly by name.
- Don't trust Caller ID to be accurate.
- If a person calls up asking for information, get their number and call them back using a number you found yourself for the company in question. If the real company has no idea what you are talking about, report the call.
As always, if you ever believe any information related to your SAFE account(s) has been compromised, contact SAFE immediately at (916) 979-SAFE or (800) SEE-SAFE.