Spoofing Caller ID's and RoboCalling

June 16, 2014

BBB is warning consumers about a scam which is targeting Central Illinois consumers. Consumers have reported receiving calls which appear to be from local area businesses, however BBB believes the calls are coming from overseas. Callers have likely purchased lists of cell and home phone numbers, or use robocall capabilities to randomly dial. Using a technique called "spoofing", scam artists attempt to trick customers into thinking a legitimate Central Illinois business is calling. The Central Illinois area has been flooded with these calls in the last few days. BBB is advising consumers to use caution when providing information over the phone.  

Here’s how the scam works: Your phone rings, the number looks familiar. When the call is answered, the a computerized voice claims to have methods to lower your credit card interest rates, which of course, means they require a credit card number.

Before responding to unsolicited phone calls, BBB advises the following:

Never give out any financial information. If you did not initiate the call, do not provide bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers over the phone unless you have thoroughly done your research and verified the caller.

Don’t rely on caller ID. Scammers can use technology to make it appear as though their calls are coming from legitimate businesses or organizations.

Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right to you, end the call.


For 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB more than 100 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at www.bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 114 local, independent BBB's across the United States and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.


For more information, journalists should contact Jessica Tharp at 309-670-1182 or jtharp@hoibbb.org