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Spoofing calls not just annoying, can be costly too

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, a man uses a cell phone in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, a man uses a cell phone in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

HOUSTON – Ever got a call from a number that looks familiar, only to hear this when you pick up?

“To save you from costly repair bills our warranty specialists are standing by and will take just a few minutes to quote you the coverage and give you the peace of mind you deserve. Time is running out, so press one now to be transferred to the warranty specialist.”

If you have, you’ve been spoofed. According to the Federal Communications Commission, caller ID spoofing is when a caller “deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity.”  And the scammers have gotten so elaborate with their spoofing, they will even call from numbers that closely resemble your own, with not just the same area code, but also the first three digits of your phone number—which is called neighbor spoofing.

These calls are usually made by scammers or telemarketers, using local numbers because they figure you’re more inclined to pick up the line if the number is local.

What are they trying to get from you?

  • Your personal information, like name, social security number
  • Your financial information, like credit, debit, or other account numbers
  • Your cell phone information, to use your number to scam or con other unsuspecting callers

But, Consumer Reporter Amy Davis is giving you tools to fight back!

Monday night at 6, KPRC 2 viewers test three different anti-phone spoofing apps to find out which ones work best.