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How scammers are posing as your cable and web providers

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The Federal Trade Commission has recently gotten countless reports of scam artists pretending to be cable and web corporations. These fraudsters are so good at deception that even the savviest consumer can get duped.

Despite call-blocking apps, software, and caller ID, scam artists are conning hard-working people such as you and me of our hard-earned money over the phone.

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A burner phone can assist you avoid calls made by unknown numbers.
(iStock)

 A girl recently emailed me saying this very thing happened to her and her husband:

“We just received a scam phone call yesterday addressing my husband by name and claiming to be Cox Cable. We had just canceled Cox cable TV two or three days before, which this caller was privy about. They offered a 40% discount if we reconnected. I inquired about the associated fee, but before he would give me the associated fee, he desired to confirm our account and asked for my mother’s maiden name. That is when the red flag went up. I said, ‘May I call you back in quarter-hour’, with the intention of testing the phone number and calling Cox Cable. The caller replied that he’d call me back. Once I did a Google search of the number and called Cox Cable, I spotted it was, actually, a scam call. The caller didn’t call back. I followed up with a call to my older parents to warn them about most of these scams.”

“The query in my mind is, how did they know we had just canceled cable service with Cox Cable after we might had it for the past 11 years? Is there a breach within the Cox Cable data system?”

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How you can tell in the event you are being scammed

Scammers posing as trusted sources like your cable or web provider make all of it the simpler for his or her victims to fall prey to them and willingly give out their personal information. And sadly, increasingly more scam artists are inclined to prey on people aged 65 and older because:

  • They’ve good credit
  • They have an inclination to be financially secure
  • They’re trustworthy

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Photo of woman on the phone potentially speaking with scammers asking for personal information.

Photo of woman on the phone potentially speaking with scammers asking for private information.
(Fox News)

Thankfully, there are easy red flags to look out for to find out if the person calling you is genuinely who they claim to be:

  • In the event that they ask for private information over the phone – service providers won’t ever contact you asking for this.
  • It’s from an unknown phone number- if the number is just not one in all your contacts or not familiar to you, they’re greater than likely a scam artist.

Unfortunately, some scam artists are advanced enough to make their caller IDs appear as in the event that they are, actually, the corporate they’re claiming to be. In the event that they are legit, they may leave a message so that you can call them back with the number, allowing you to do a Google search and make sure the number is protected. They’re most probably scam artists in the event that they don’t leave a message.

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How did the scammers get the lady and her husband’s personal information

It’s alarming that the scam artist appeared to know the maiden name of the lady’s mother and that they’d just canceled their cable subscription.

A mother’s maiden name is probably the most popular security questions people decide to authenticate their identity, should they get locked out of their account. Comprehensible because that is a straightforward query to recollect; nevertheless, it is also easy to trace down, as an easy web search could discover it. Data brokers or “people search” sites collect your information, including your birthday, phone number, and address, from various web sites, then sell it to people trying to find you online for a small fee.

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An upset couple presumably upset about being scammed.

An upset couple presumably upset about being scammed.
(Fox News)

Fortunately, there are methods to get a handle on what personal information of yours is on the market on the web. Probably the most surefire way is to take a position in a trusted removal service as covered in our article here.

As for the way they knew concerning the woman and her husband canceling their subscription, that’s strange. It’s not unfathomable to think there could also be prying eyes in your email that will reveal you canceled your cable. You could consider locking up your email with a secure email account if these calls keep coming.   Take a look at my #1 pick for secure email at CyberGuy.com/Mail.

Got a story like this you’d wish to share, head over to CyberGuy.com and tell us.

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Copyright 2023 CyberGuy.com.  All rights reserved.  CyberGuy.com articles and content may contain affiliate links that earn a commission when purchases are made.

Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life higher along with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business starting mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Got a tech query? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.

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