Don't Get Hooked: Spoofing - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Don't Get Hooked: Spoofing

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -

Your phone rings...the number on your Caller I.D. shows an Arkansas area code...so you answer it.

When you hear a thick foreign accent... you know you have been spoofed.

Spoofing seriously lessens the effectiveness of Caller I.D.

It is a seasonal thing. More people are at home during the summer. Dreams of summer sweepstakes giveaways grow. So the scammers are working the phones.

The Arkansas Better Business Bureau wants to help make sure you "Don't Get Hooked."

Spoofing is not illegal.

If someone is ducking your calls you can trick their Caller I.D. in order to get through.

There are plenty of free apps and offers online to help you accomplish this.

But spoofing Caller I.D. in an attempt to defraud or harm someone is illegal.

And Mike Rohrer with the Arkansas BBB says fraudulent spoofing complaints are on the rise.

"The real sweepstakes that are coming up...we start getting these calls in...telling people that they've won this sweepstakes but they need to pay some sort of advance fee," warns Rohrer. "The problem is the caller ID looks as though it is actually from the particular sweepstakes."

The Better Business Bureau has some tips to help make sure you don't get hooked by a spoofing scammer.

First, never give out any personal or financial information. Unless you initiated the call, protect your privacy.

Next, trust your instincts. If things don't feel right, just hang up.

And finally, don't rely on Caller I.D. While the ways to beat Caller I.D. are plentiful, the ways to beat spoofing are not.

"I haven't seen anything that is beating it yet," says Rohrer. "There is many, many sites on how to do it...how to spoof. Not necessarily how to prevent it."

If you have been targeted or victimized by a spoofing scam, please call the Arkansas Better Business Bureau.

Air date: July 9th, 2014