How to keep from being 'spoofed' by scammers

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DOTHAN, AL (WTVY) If you have been getting a lot of phone calls recently that seem like scams, you’re not alone.

Scammers are increasingly using a technique called “Caller ID Spoofing”.

Scammers simply use an internet site or an app function on their phone to change their caller ID in just seconds.

These criminals normally mask their identities by using phone numbers with local area codes. The call appears to come from a local business, a government agency, or even friends.

Investigators at the Dothan Police Department say, however, it’s all an attempt to trick you into sending money or giving out personal information. And they say callers with foreign accents are definitely red flags.

“The technology that’s here today, anyone can mask their number and make it look like something else," said Corporal Shane Ash, Dothan Police Department. "So before you do anything financially, you call us, you call that business, you call where it is and confirm that you do owe them money or that it is a service that you’ve paid for. Under no circumstance do you give out your account number, do you give any credit card number or any of your personal identification.”

Corporal Ash says that’s the best way to protect yourself from fraud is never giving out personal information when getting an unsolicited phone call, even if it shows up on your caller ID with a 3-3-4 area code.

If you have been a victim of "Caller ID Spoofing," the Dothan Police Department recommends contacting them and filing a police report.