IT&E has received reports of suspicious voice calls, WhatsApp calls and WhatsApp messages from local and off-island phone numbers.
IT&E advises subscribers to never provide personal information, such as social security numbers or banking information, over the phone or via WhatsApp without verifying the request.
Suspicious calls include robocalls, which contain pre-recorded message, as if from a robot. A robocall could be a scam if the caller asks for personal information. The callers often replicate local phone numbers, which appear on caller ID and hide the actual number. If you receive such a call, IT&E recommends hanging up immediately. Your information only becomes compromised if you provide information during the call.
IT&E is currently collecting data to report the calls to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). IT&E is taking action to limit such calls and messages to the greatest extent possible.
To combat robocalls and scams, the FCC provides the following tips for consumers:
- Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail. If the caller claims to be from a legitimate company or organization, hang up and call them back using a valid number found on their website or on your latest bill if you do business with them.
- If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to press a button to stop receiving calls or asks you to say “yes” in response to a question, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents, or to use your “yes” to apply unauthorized charges on your bill.
- Be Aware: Caller ID showing a “local” number no longer means it is necessarily a local caller.
- If you answer and the caller asks for payment using a gift card, it’s likely a scam. Legitimate organizations like law enforcement will not ask for payment with a gift card.
- If you receive a scam call, file a complaint with the FCC Consumer Complaint Center online at www.fcc.gov by selecting the “phone” option and selecting “unwanted calls.” The data collected helps the FCC track trends and supports our enforcement investigations.
- If you have lost money because of a scam call, contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance.
- Consider registering your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry. Lawful telemarketers use this list to avoid calling consumers on the list.