The bout of suspicious calls the CNMI is experiencing is part of a larger scam affecting the United States, according to IT&E yesterday.
It said it reported the suspicious calls to AT&T, which is investigating. IT&E has received information from the AT&T Fraud Desk that the calls are part of a Chinese Consulate robocalling/spoofing scam that is also circulating in the U.S. and has defrauded people of millions of dollars. Fraudsters pose as the Chinese Consulate requesting payment to deliver a package. They ask for bank account or credit card numbers. They may also ask for money to be transferred to them.
“We’ve been told that AT&T will be taking action to stop the calls. They’ll continue to update us as the situation develops. Again, the source of these calls is outside of the CNMI and Guam and we remind the community to be cautious of calls from unknown numbers,” said IT&E general manager Rose Soledad.
The fraudsters use call spoofing to replicate local phone numbers that appear on caller ID and hide the actual phone number; they hide their actual number and call local users with auto dialers.
To avoid phone scams, IT&E recommends not answering calls from unknown numbers and to hang up immediately if such a call is answered. Never share personal information over the phone.
Subscribers with concerns or that would like to report a suspicious call can reach the IT&E Customer Care Center at 682-4483 or visit www.ite.net to send a message. (PR)