ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Better Business Bureau is spreading the word about the latest phone scam targeting St. Louis area residents.
It’s called “neighbor spoofing,” and an unknown number of local residents have been victimized over the past few months.
How does it work?
“You’ll get calls, primarily on your cell phone, from your area code and what’s looking like your local exchange, the first three numbers after your area code,” explains BBB investigator Don O’Brien.
He says it’s doubtful you’ll hear anybody speak on the other end during that initial phone call.
“You’ll answer the phone and you’ll either get only static, or you’ll get some type of recording, somebody wanting you to go ahead and press one,” according to O’Brien. “An obvious scam call to anybody who actually answers it.”
He says the point appears to be that by picking up, you’re letting the scammer know that you possess a working number.
That will then clear the way for other scam attempts in the future.
“They may just be looking to collect numbers that they can use down the road to call people back,” O’Brien says. “They might try to get some sensitive information out of you; they may try to pitch some scam to you. I think that’s their M.O.”
O’Brien adds they’re trying to track down whoever’s behind this latest scam, so if you feel like you’ve been targeted, you can contact the BBB online, or even call your local police.
The Better Business Bureau has an online tool called Scam-Tracker that identifies current scams not only locally, but all across the nation – even into Canada. It can be found at BBB.org.