Many of us choose not to answer our cell phones when we see a number we don’t recognize pop up on the screen. It could be an unwanted telemarketer or bill collector, and no one wants to invite that kind of stress into our lives.
But, what if the phone number actually happens to be your very own? That might seem a bit strange, and that’s bound to pique your curiosity, right? Well, don’t let your curiosity get the better of you, or give in to the temptation of finding out who is on the other end.
This is one of the newest cell phone scams, and it could very likely put your personal information at risk. If you ever receive a call from your own phone number, don’t answer! The government has a new warning and here’s what they’re saying.
With all the recent online data breaches, it makes it so much easier for virtual thugs to trick you into giving up your personal details. Anson Massey from Waco, Texas told KXXV that he was surprised to see his own phone number show up on his caller ID:
“I picked it up, and there was a voice on the other end, and it said my account had been compromised through AT&T.”
He suspected something wasn’t right, and proceeded to record the robocall’s message before hanging up the phone:
“Your account has been flagged for security purpose. After the tone please enter the last four digits of the primary account holder’s social security number.”
Several other people on social media have also been reporting the same strange encounters with themselves, and it’s not just limited to Texans.
Back in the good old days thieves used to rob banks or pick locks in order to get some extra cash, but now these clever hooligans let fancy technology do all the work for them!
Donny Claxton told WFAA of his recent experience, where he was surprised to see that he was calling himself late one night:
“My phone starts ringing and at that hour of the night, you are alarmed at who is calling you. I look at the phone, and it’s me and I am looking. How am I calling myself? And I look at my phone. and there is no one there. and then it hangs up.”
When WFAA asked Phylissia Landix of the Better Business Bureau what was going on, she said:
“Spoofing is when someone who shouldn’t have it will take a computer program that will disguise a telephone number, and you will get a phone call from what it looks like yourself.”
Obviously, you’re not calling yourself from the future to give yourself the winning lotto numbers. So, why are these con artists going to great lengths to make you think you’re haunting yourself?
Well, it’s not because they have a silly sense of humor! As usual, their motives are all about money. When they aren’t prompting you to give up your personal details, they’re using their savvy tech to jack up your phone bill.
“The longer time you spend on that phone the greater chances they can get something done and insert the fraudulent charge.”
Luckily, there are steps to take to stay safe. The BBB says that you should check your phone bill every month to make sure there aren’t any surprises.
Of course, the best advice is not to answer the phone at all, and let it go to voicemail. Until quantum physicists can actually prove the existence of parallel universes, it’s probably not really “you” on the other end anyways.