DENVER — Officials with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission are warning the public about a cell phone "spoofing" scam as part of an attempt to trick someone into providing personal information.
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.
The practice of spoofing to defraud consumers is illegal, and the PUC urges consumers who’ve received these types of calls to file a complaint with the FCC or Colorado’s Attorney General Consumer Protection Section at 1-800-222-4444.
The agency offered the following tips to protect yourself from this scam:
- 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.