Receiving Calls From Numbers Similar to Yours?

October 23, 2020

Why do I keep getting weird phone calls from numbers similar to mine?


If you’re receiving phone calls from unknown numbers that have similar digits to your own, or from the same area code, you may be a target of a ‘Neighbour Spoofing’ attack. 


It’s called ‘Neighbour Spoofing’ because it refers to your phone number neighbour which holds similar digits to your own number or to local numbers that are supposedly near you. 


Sometimes, the caller ID is falsely shown as a local business or someone you know. These tactics are used purposefully by phone scammers to capture your attention and spike your curiosity. 


Phone scammers want you to pick up the phone so that they can verify that your phone number is active and that you are on the other end. By collecting this information, phone scammers add your number to a list of other numbers that are also active and these numbers become the prime targets for future phone scams.


What can I do to avoid ‘Neighbour Spoofing’ attacks?


It’s always a good idea to NOT answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize. Even if the number is local or looks familiar, you should not pick up the phone unless you are sure it’s a safe caller. If it is someone who’s actually trying to reach you, they should leave a voicemail. 


The more calls you answer, the more prone you are to future scam calls.


You may be receiving a call from a local business, doctor, insurance agency, etc., but if you’re unsure if it is legit, you should look up the real phone number on their website and call them directly especially if you’re needing to share personal or financial information over the phone.


Another thing you could do is reach out to your phone provider to see if there are any services or advice they have for reducing the number of spoof calls you receive. Or registering your number on the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce telemarketing calls and potential fraudulent calls, yet this option may not block the majority of spoofing calls you receive. 


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