Looking at the phone number in your telephone display is not a secure way to identify the caller, a consumer advice centre has warned.
Criminals can manipulate the number displayed so that a different phone number is shown in what is known as “call ID spoofing,” explains the North-Rhine Westphalia Consumer Centre in Germany.
People should always be sceptical of callers who claim to be from well-known companies, banks, insurance funds and the like, especially if they are asking for payment.
A reputable company will never demand money over the phone, ask you to reveal account details or passwords, or request access to your computer.
If in doubt, hang up and ring the company back to ask if the person who called you really works there, the consumer centre advises.
You should also note details such as the time of the call or the account numbers you were asked to transfer money to. These will be useful for the police. — dpa