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Don’t Trust Caller ID

By Sky, K-Staff

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You get a call on your phone: the caller ID says Kirtland Federal Credit Union. You answer – the voice on the other line is asking for your account’s PIN. What should you do?

Before you answer, let us tell you about a phenomenon that is becoming more and more common in scammers’ playbooks: spoofing.

What is spoofing?

Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. (You may be familiar with this if you have ever received a robocall that claims it’s from your cell phone number.)

Scammers often use neighbor spoofing – using an unknown number that is very close to your own phone number – so it appears their call is coming from a local number, or they may spoof a number from a company you already know and trust – like Kirtland FCU.

This short video from the FCC offers a succinct explanation of how spoofing works:

How can I avoid spoofing?

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
  • If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to press a button to be removed from their list, hang up. Scammers use this trick to identity active phone numbers – and potential targets.
  • Do not respond to any questions asked, particularly ones that can be answered “Yes” or “No”.
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, or other identifying information if you are at all suspicious about an incoming call.
  • Use caution if you are pressured for information immediately.
  • If you receive an inquiry from someone who says they are from a company or government agency, hang up and call the company or agency at a contact number from a verified source – an account statement or their official website is normally a good place to start. Representatives at the company or agency can verify the authenticity of the request.

Spoofing also can come in the form of text messages from a trusted number – if you didn’t expect a contact by text message, be vigilant! Never click on a link or reply to unexpected text messages claiming to be from a company or agency – and never provide sensitive personal information of any type via text message.

What if “Kirtland FCU” is contacting me?

Kirtland FCU will never reach out to you with an unsolicited call or text message to ask for sensitive private information, like your PIN, account number or Social Security number.

Don’t trust your caller ID—it’s incredibly easy to clone a phone number to make a call appear that it’s coming from a legitimate source. The best way to ensure that you are speaking to a Kirtland FCU representative is to call us directly at (800) 880-5328.

If you haven’t specifically requested a call from Kirtland FCU, hang up the phone. If you have any questions about your account, call us. We’ll be happy to address your concerns safely and securely!

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