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Don't Believe That Caller ID

by BBB Staff | Mar 18, 2019 2:51:14 PM

Make no
doubt about it, scammers are getting rich off your losses. In fact, scams last
year cost consumers nearly $1.5-billion according to the Federal Trade
Commission. Almost $11.5-million in Oregon alone.

While
sweepstakes and lottery scams topped the list in 2018, identity theft was a
strong number two rip off scheme.

“We received
almost 5-thousand complaints from Oregonians about identity theft. It’s a huge
problem,” said Chuck Harwood with the FTC.

In fact,
Oregon was ranked 21st in identity theft losses per capita last
year.

If your
identity is stolen, Harwood advises you to visit www.identitytheft.gov for tips on how to recover.

Also,
consider freezing your credit, which is now free to do, thanks to a new federal
law.

“By doing
that you can counteract what we know is the most common form of identity theft
in the past year or two. And that is opening new credit card accounts,” Harwood
said.

A newer
scheme that’s on the increase are robocalls. Perhaps you’ve received one (wink,
wink). Who hasn’t? According to Harwood, more than half of all calls to mobile
phones this year will be robocalls. And, you won’t always be able to spot them
by looking at the incoming number. Scammers are now spoofing local area codes
in hopes of getting more people to pick up.

He adds,
“you can’t believe what you see on your caller ID anymore.”

But,
finally, there’s good news on the other end of the line. Apps are being
developed and tested to help block robocalls.

To learn
more about new technology in response to robocalls, look up call apps on www.ftc.gov. Of course, if you’ve spotted a
scam, we’d like to hear about it. File a report at www.bbb.org/scamtracker.

BBB NW+P
Oregon spoke with Chuck Harwood as part of a larger campaign to educate
consumers during National Consumer Awareness Week. See our entire Facebook Live
interview here.

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