STATEWIDE – The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) urges consumers to beware of callers who deliberately transmit fake phone numbers to your wireline and wireless phone caller ID display to disguise their identity. This scam is called “spoofing” and is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into providing personal information that can be used in fraudulent activity.
Caller ID information can be manipulated by spoofers who illegally pose as representatives of banks, creditors, utility and technology companies, or even government agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service. These scams have defrauded consumers of hundreds of millions of dollars.
If you cannot tell that an incoming call is spoofed, use common sense and do NOT respond to any request for personally identifying information.
• Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls.
• If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request.
Transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain anything of value is illegal. If you receive a call and you suspect the caller ID information has been falsified, what can you do?
• File a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission at https://consumercomoplaints.fcc.gov, or by calling 1-888-225-5322.
• Contact the Colorado Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Section at 1-800-222-4444.
Visit the following website for more information regarding spoofing and other fraudulent activity: www.stopfraudcolorado.gov