Protect Yourself from Phone Spoofing
As many organizations step up to help those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, there are others who are stepping in to exploit this crisis through phishing scams and cyber-attacks. There has been a major increase in scamming attempts via phone calls and text messages—even some impersonating government organizations like Freddie Mac. So, just as we are being urged to be vigilant in protecting ourselves from germs, we must take precautions to protect ourselves from these criminals attempting to use “phone spoofing” to fool us.
Phone spoofing is where a call appears to be coming from a reputable source, but the caller is an imposter. While often the caller will not leave a message, if they do reach the person they will typically use publicly available information like a street address or mortgage servicer name that they will use to attempt to gain the trust of the person. Here are a few reminders that can help protect you:
Caller ID is not always true.
Scammers can make any name or number appear from anywhere in the world so be cautious with caller ID.
If you aren’t sure, then let it go to voicemail.
If a call is important then the caller will leave a voicemail so never feel pressured to answer a call from an unknown number or a source you are unsure of.
Don’t be afraid to hang up.
If you receive a robocall (a call from what sounds like a robot) then just hang up!
Don’t give out information.
Never give out your personal, financial or other sensitive information unless you are sure that you know who you are speaking with.
It is okay to ask questions. If someone is calling with an offer that seems too good to be true or seems unusual then ask questions or simply let them know you are not interested.
You can always contact your phone carrier or internet provider to stop unwanted calls.
If you do receive a call that you feel was a criminal attempt, report it to the appropriate party. For example, if you receive call from someone pretending to be your mortgage servicer then hang up and report that call to your actual mortgage servicer. Your call may be the one that helps catch the criminal.
At Stockton Mortgage, we are doing all we can to help protect our borrowers from scams like those which have recently surfaced. If you ever have a question about a correspondence you have received from us or possibly, someone acting as us then please do not hesitate to let us know. To get in touch, visit us at www.smcapproved.com