CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - While trick-or-treaters go knocking on doors for Halloween, scammers are busy trick-or-treating every day.
Scammers don’t typically knock on your door, but they do show up on your phone, disguised as someone you may trust. They hide behind a spoofed number to make you believe you’re talking to someone local.
“These scam artists are using technology to disguise their phone number, to a look like it’s somebody calling from your area,” Carri Grube Lybarker from the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs said.
The easiest way to avoid a phone scam is to ignore calls if you don’t recognize the telephone number. If you let those calls go to voice mail, you can then determine if the call is real or a scam.
South Carolina lawmakers passed an anti-spoofing law earlier this year. The law is designed to protect citizens from telemarketers and scammers alike, but Lybarker says scammers are still ahead of the game.
“Sometimes we get reports from people who say I have 20 phone numbers to report,” Laybarker said. "When we ask ‘Who was calling you?’ they don’t know because they didn’t pick up, which is great advice. At the same time, that gives us less information to see whether not it was a legitimate telemarketing call.”
If you do answer a call and realize it’s a scam, report the phone number to the Department of Consumer Affairs. You can report it by calling 844-TELL-DCA (835-5322) or report it online here.
If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at Scams@live5news.com.