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  1. #21
    Service Manager 2,500+ Posts
    FBI Security Alerts

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    Re: FBI Security Alerts

    Area codes are no longer Area codes – but they can be used for scamming

    The area code displayed when you receive a phone call tells you from what location the call was placed, right?

    Wrong.

    While we still commonly speak of “area codes” – a legacy term that implies a connection between a particular three-digit prefix and the physical location of the communications equipment associated with it – the truth is that area codes have long since been transformed from representing physical places into simply the first three digits of our new, standard, 10-digit telephone numbers.
    There are official tables showing which three-digit codes are assigned to which locations under the North American Numbering Plan, but technological advances and policy changes have dramatically diminished the meaningfulness of these relics of a bygone era.

    Online communications services like Google Voice, eFax, and other offerings let people choose their own area codes, people signing up for phone lines utilizing Voice over IP technology (eg, Vonage) get to pick their area codes, and mobile-phone service providers usually let people choose their full ten-digit numbers as well.

    A scammer seeking to build confidence and trust among victims for a financial scam, might, for example, acquire a number with a 212 area code – instilling even before his or her intended victim answers the phone a perception that the caller represents a long-established New York financial institution.

    Similarly, scammers calling from outside of the United States can easily establish US-based numbers in order to reduce the suspiciousness of intended victims. Clever crooks may even call people from numbers that appear to be local to the victims – and establish a bond by referring to local sites – something about which they can easily learn online or by viewing social media postings.

    There is a reason that technology companies located far from California have been known to obtain phone numbers associated with the Silicon Valley area.

    So, the next time you receive a call from an area code that you recognize as tied to some particular location, keep in mind that the call may be from there – or from anywhere else on the planet.

    ... I was attacked by this scam three times today all saying that if I did not immediately pay $400.00 I was in some sort of big trouble. Plus I think it was an autodialer.

  2. #22
    Retired 10,000+ Posts slimslob's Avatar
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    Re: FBI Security Alerts

    Quote Originally Posted by SalesServiceGuy View Post
    Area codes are no longer Area codes – but they can be used for scamming

    The area code displayed when you receive a phone call tells you from what location the call was placed, right?

    Wrong.

    While we still commonly speak of “area codes” – a legacy term that implies a connection between a particular three-digit prefix and the physical location of the communications equipment associated with it – the truth is that area codes have long since been transformed from representing physical places into simply the first three digits of our new, standard, 10-digit telephone numbers.
    There are official tables showing which three-digit codes are assigned to which locations under the North American Numbering Plan, but technological advances and policy changes have dramatically diminished the meaningfulness of these relics of a bygone era.

    Online communications services like Google Voice, eFax, and other offerings let people choose their own area codes, people signing up for phone lines utilizing Voice over IP technology (eg, Vonage) get to pick their area codes, and mobile-phone service providers usually let people choose their full ten-digit numbers as well.

    A scammer seeking to build confidence and trust among victims for a financial scam, might, for example, acquire a number with a 212 area code – instilling even before his or her intended victim answers the phone a perception that the caller represents a long-established New York financial institution.

    Similarly, scammers calling from outside of the United States can easily establish US-based numbers in order to reduce the suspiciousness of intended victims. Clever crooks may even call people from numbers that appear to be local to the victims – and establish a bond by referring to local sites – something about which they can easily learn online or by viewing social media postings.

    There is a reason that technology companies located far from California have been known to obtain phone numbers associated with the Silicon Valley area.

    So, the next time you receive a call from an area code that you recognize as tied to some particular location, keep in mind that the call may be from there – or from anywhere else on the planet.

    ... I was attacked by this scam three times today all saying that if I did not immediately pay $400.00 I was in some sort of big trouble. Plus I think it was an autodialer.
    Scammers have been using spoofed phone numbers for years. One trick they were using for a while was to spoof a number with the same area code and prefix as yours so you think it might be a neighbor. I have had them tell me it was the IRS, IRS does not call first,

  3. #23
    Service Manager 2,500+ Posts
    FBI Security Alerts

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    Re: FBI Security Alerts

    Quote Originally Posted by slimslob View Post
    Scammers have been using spoofed phone numbers for years. One trick they were using for a while was to spoof a number with the same area code and prefix as yours so you think it might be a neighbor. I have had them tell me it was the IRS, IRS does not call first,
    ... that is the exact spoof that someone(s) tried to trick me with today. To me, six of the ten digits that appeared on my mobile and landline phone were very local. So local.. I immediately disbelieved the honesty of the call.

  4. #24
    Geek Extraordinaire 2,500+ Posts KenB's Avatar
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    Re: FBI Security Alerts

    Lately I’ve been getting the “student loan forgiveness” scam call.

    One of the few that actually leaves a voicemail, and not in a thick accent (although obviously automated).
    “I think you should treat good friends like a fine wine. That’s why I keep mine locked up in the basement.” - Tim Hawkins

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