AG's office warns of telemarketing scam

By Chris Dickerson | Jun 9, 2014

CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning West Virginia consumers about phone calls from telemarketers who are using Caller ID spoofing.

Morrisey's office has received several calls from consumers who report that when they receive the telemarketing solicitation, the phone number that shows up on the Caller ID is their own. This trend, known as “spoofing,” is used by many scammers to lead people to believe the incoming call is legitimate.

“Our office has seen this kind of scam before, where the scammers manipulate Caller ID so it appears as though the call is coming from a utility company, law enforcement or government agency,” Morrisey said in a press release. “Technology has made it more difficult to be certain that the person on the other end of the line is who he says he is.”

When dealing with all unsolicited phone calls, here are a few things to keep in mind:

* Never give the caller any personal information.

* If the caller demands payment for something, such as a past due bill, get as much detail as you can and call the creditor directly.

* Don’t feel pressured by threats. Stay calm and get as much information as possible, then notify law enforcement and the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.

“There is no shortage of people who will try to prey on senior citizens and other trusting folks,” Morrisey said. “It’s important to be vigilant in protecting your personal and financial information so these scammers can be stopped in their tracks.”

If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft or your personal information has been stolen, Morrisey asks that you call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808.

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