Woman says she fell for phone spoof scam, warns others to be war - FOX Carolina 21

Woman says she fell for phone spoof scam, warns others to be wary

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Earlier this week, Jodi Widener said got a call from a what she believed to be her cell phone carrier.  The only thing that seemed odd was that the number was her own--something she confessed she had never seen before, but once she answered it, things seemed to make sense.

"It was an automated message from my phone company," she said.  "It said there had been a security breach on my account and it had been flagged, and I needed to enter my last four (digits) of my social security number and my account PIN."

But it took her until the next morning to realize she had been had.  She saw a push alert from FOX Carolina about a scam, where criminals use the victim's own number against them to get the information they need.  The station had done a story on phone spoofing, where authorities in Greenwood and Laurens counties were warning of the calls.  Widener, who lives in Greenville, said she became shocked that she fell victim.

The calls are something that have recently caught the attention of many all over the area.  The Better Business Bureau of the Upstate said it also deliberately piques the interest of the caller.

"Curiosity killed the cat, they always say," said BBB's Hope Evans.  "But even if you're curious, I would not pick up the phone."

Authorities said anything you say on the phone, or type on your phone's number pad, can be recorded for later interest by someone trying to defraud you. 

Currently, there are laws to catch the criminals behind the schemes.  But in most cases, authorities said finding the criminals is tougher and tougher thanks to new technology.  In most cases, they said the criminals could be out of the state, and perhaps out of the country, making tracing the calls to their ultimate source difficult.

Widener said falling for the scheme has led her to rush and change passwords and PIN numbers so she can have peace of mind.

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