Caller ID Spoofing


What is Caller ID Spoofing?


Question Mark Phone

Caller ID Spoofing is when a caller uses technology to hide the actual phone number they are calling from and display another phone number in the Caller ID. You could receive a call from what appears to be a bank or the IRS. This method has become popular with criminals because it hides their true identity and allows them to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. By posing as legitimate banks, scammers are deceiving victims into giving up critical private information like bank accounts, credit card numbers, social security numbers and PINs. This new scheme uses advanced level spoofing techniques so the caller and text messages look and sound authentic.

How is Caller ID Spoofing Dangerous?


Hacker in Phone

The technology behind spoofing makes the calls or texts nearly untraceable. You won't reach the criminal by calling the number back. Instead you will reach the person or business that actually owns the phone number or it could be an inactive number.

Many of these callers originate from international locations (especially third world countries), where they have no regard for our laws. They can make more money by scamming an innocent person by posing as a bank, the IRS, or the police than they could ever make in their country.

If you accidentally provide your bank account or personal information, the scammer has access to your identity or your bank accounts. With this information, they can withdraw money out of your bank account or apply for loans and credit cards using your identity.

Examples of Spoofing Cases in our Area


Example 1:

Carl Stone received a call on his cell phone that appeared to come from his bank. The person identified herself as Marion from the Fraud Department at his bank and told Carl there had been a fraud attempt on Carl's checking account.

Man Carrying Money

Marion (actually a scammer) asked Carl if he made a purchase at Walmart for $608.25. Carl said that he did not make that purchase. Marion asked Carl to verify his online banking username and Carl gave it to her.

Marion told Carl that she was going to send a one-time verification PIN to his cell phone so she could verify his identity.

Marion used Carl's online banking username to log in to his online banking system and clicked on "Forgot Username or Password" to generate a text message from the bank's real phone number with verification code. When Carl received the text message with the verification number, he read it back to Marion over the phone, which allowed the scammer to access his account. Once Marion could access Carl's account through online banking, she could see and read back his actual bank transactions, making it appear like she was from his bank.

At this point, Marion could set up payments and take money out of Carl's account.

Example 2:

Elena receives a text message from an unknown number that says

ALMA BANK ALERT.
DID YOU MAKE A RECENT PURCHASE OF $352.86?
REPLY "Y" FOR YES AND "N" FOR NO

Elena, concerned about potential fraud on her account, immediately replied "N" to the text message thinking she was responding to her bank. In reality, she was responding to a scammer, not her bank.

Man Carrying Money

Once the scammer received a text message response from Elena, they called her pretending to be with her bank. Chad, the scammer, asked her to verify her address, birthday and debit card number. Once he had that information, Chad told Elena that he was deactivating her current debit card and ordering her a new one. He asked Elena to tell him her debit card PIN so he could assign the same number to her new one.

At this point, Chad has all the information he needs to make purchases and cash advances on Elena's debit card.

ALMA BANK Customers Should Know


When you call Alma Bank, we may use some personal information to verify your identity such as:

  • The last 4 digits of your SSN (never the entire number)
  • Your Card# 16 digits
  • CVV code
  • Exp date
  • Your physical address
  • Your birthday

Alma Bank will never call you and ask for:

  • Your online banking user name or password
  • Your debit card number
  • Your PIN

What You Should Do


  • If you ever receive a call from Alma Bank (or any organization) and are unsure if the call is legitimate, hang up and call the Bank back directly.
  • If you do not remember signing up for text message alerts with Alma Bank, do not respond to any text messages you receive on the bank's behalf.
  • If you receive a suspicious text message or phone call from Alma Bank, please contact us at 866.424.8229 Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm EST.
  • Review your bank statements and online banking regularly and notify us immediately of any suspicious or fraudulent activity.
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