CALGARY – As part of a new way to trick victims into parting ways with their hard-earned money, scammers have come up with another method to ensure their calls are heard.

Using technology to modify caller ID readings, scammers are changing their numbers to appear as someone more familiar to victims.

The Better Business Bureau says the scheme, called "neighbour spoofing," works to improve the chances that a person will pick up the phone and fall victim to the ploy.

By impersonating phone numbers with the same area code as the victim or even friends and local businesses that they may have had contact with, the BBB says scammers are being heard more often by unwitting victims.

To make matters worse, when people answer the calls, it may open them up to more calls because their number is added to a "sucker list."

The agency says in order to avoid these types of calls, people should:

  • Avoid answering phone calls you don't recognize, even if they appear to be local
  • Be aware of phone numbers that you may be expecting calls from
  • If you're not certain whether or not a call is legitimate, disconnect the call and phone the known phone number back for confirmation, especially if personal information is requested
  • Use a call blocking app to decrease the number of spam calls and check with your phone provider for similar services

The Better Business Bureau encourages people to report scams to their online Scam Tracker.