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Beware of Scam Calls in WNY

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Yesterday I got a phone call from myself. I thought that was weird (and, it is). So obviously I googled “weird phone call from my own number.” What I found out, is that some scammer “spoofed” my number — which means they use a type of software to mask the actual caller ID and make it look like the phone call is originating from a different number — in this case, my own.

Spoofing is illegal, as it is for scammers to be calling you anyhow, if you’ve put your number on the Do Not Call list. However, it’s difficult to actually get these calls to stop or get authorities to take any action.

Some common scams include calls in which the caller identifies themselves as being from the IRS (read more about that here), or calls that sound like someone is in need of medical attention, or is calling for help.

The best defense you have, is to know what scams are out there, and being careful about answering calls from numbers you don’t recognize (or calls from your own number).

According to WIVB, here’s a list of area codes you should not answer calls from — as many scam calls originate from these area codes:

242 — Bahamas

441 — Bermuda

784 — St. Vincent and Grenadines

246 — Barbados

473 — Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique

809, 829, and 849 — Dominican Republic

264 — Anguilla

649 — Turks and Caicos

868 — Trinidad and Tobago

268 — Antigua

664 — Montserrat

876 — Jamaica

284 — British Virgin Islands

721 — Sint Maarten

758 — St. Lucia

869 — St. Kitts and Nevis

345 — Cayman Islands

767 — Dominica

U.S. Territories’ area codes (listed by territory):

American Samoa — 684

Guam — 671

Northern Mariana Islands — 670

Puerto Rico — 787 and 939

U.S. Virgin Islands — 340

Canadian area codes (listed by province):

Alberta — 403, 587, and 780

British Columbia — 236, 250, 604, and 778

Manitoba — 204 and 431

New Brunswick — 506

Newfoundland — 709 (879 is being added in 2018)

Northwest Territories — 867

Nova Scotia — 902

Nunavut — 867

Ontario — 226, 249, 289, 343, 365, 416, 437, 519, 613, 647, 705, 807, and 905

Quebec — 418, 438, 450, 514, 579, 581, 819, and 873

Saskatchewan — 306 and 639

Yukon — 867

Nationwide — 600 (and possibly 622, 633, 644, 655, 677, and 688)

U.S.-Canada Numbers:

Area code — 900


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