Hawaiian Telcom: Rash of ‘neighbor spoofing’ cases

The Maui News

Hawaiian Telcom reported receiving 200 “neighbor spoofing” spam reports from customers, the communications company said last week.

The calls come from the caller’s own phone number or a similar number on caller ID, the company said. The scammer hopes that the receiver of the call will answer the phone, which could lead to more spoofed calls.

Phone numbers with the Hawaii 808 area code appear to be current targets of scam calls, Hawaiian Telcom said.

While caller ID spoofing is often used for fraudulent activity, the technique also can be used by legitimate businesses to appear as if they have a local branch office, the company said.

If receiving a neighbor spoofing call:

• Do not answer, just as it is never advisable to answer calls from unfamiliar phone numbers. If the call is legitimate, the caller will leave a message.

• Always be careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information. Never give out or confirm personal information, such as Social Security or credit card numbers, to a stranger.

• Be aware that the phone number may have been spoofed, so it is possible to receive calls from people asking about calls to them.

Last year the Federal Communications Commission received more than 52,000 complaints about spoofed calls, many that were believed to be generated from overseas call centers. For more information about spoofing, go to the FCC spoofing site, https://bit.ly/2Ncd5oj.