Spoofing Scam: If you get a call from your own number, do not pick up

KENOHSA -- Kenosha police are issuing a warning about a cell phone scam that could put your security and personal information at risk. It's call a spoofing scam.

According to police, the scammers will send a recorded message that says something like this, “Your account has been flagged for security purposes. After the tone, please enter the last four digits of the primary account holder’s social security number.”

“Spoofing is when someone who shouldn’t have it will take a computer program that will disguise a telephone number, and you will get a phone call from what it looks like yourself," said Phylissia Landix, Better Business Bureau.

According to Landix, spoofing can help the scammers in two ways. They may try to trick you into giving up information by posing as your phone company’s account, hoping to get your social security number or something similar. They can also use technology that inserts fraudulent charges onto your upcoming telephone bill.

“The longer time you spend on that phone, the greater chances they can get something done and insert the fraudulent charge," said Landix.

According to Kenosha police, there are some things you can do to avoid being a target:

If you get a phone call from an unknown number or one that seems odd (such as your own phone number), don’t answer the call. You should also check your monthly phone bill to ensure no fraudulent charges were added.

If possible, consider adding yourself to the Do Not Call registry as well.

If you do receive a phone call from a suspicious number, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission, as well. Unfortunately, other than being smart about giving out information and answering phone calls, there isn’t much you can do.

Avoid problems by never giving personal information out over the phone unless you are positive about who you are talking to – and preferably dialed the number yourself. Just let calls from unknown numbers go to voicemail. If it is important, the person will leave a message and you can call them back.

“The reality is, a lot of these cons and scammers are coming from overseas. They’re outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. government," said Adam Price, Better Business Bureau.