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Phone scams hide behind businesses and politicians

By Victoria Taylor
By vtaylor@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. -- Phone scammers are getting more and more brave when trying to steal your hard earned money.

Police say these criminals are manipulating the caller ID so it appears they're calling from a reputable company.

"He asked for my information and banking information, how many years I've had the account and a lot of personal information, social security number and everything," Gromekia Shanklin, a scam victim said.

Shanklin did not send any money to the voice on the other end of the deceiving phone call. She said the caller's voice gave him away.

"He went from real nice and polite to real nasty when I started refusing to give him the information that he requested," Shanklin said. "Then I knew then a red flag had went up."

In the latest round of deceitful dialing, investigators say criminals are using the spoof technique. That means they're using an online program to change the phone number that shows up on caller ID.

Criminals are posing as local businesses and politicians to get access to your personal information. Even WBBJ has appeared on caller ID during the scam phone calls.

Police say these scammers are hard to catch because most operate out of the United States.

If you are unsure a call is a scam or not, do not give out personal information and ask for a call back number.