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What Should I Look Out for with Spoofing?

Everyone has dealt with it at some point. A call from your bank, a helpdesk, or a government agency claiming there’s an issue with your account, your computer, or your insurance. The main message of the call is that you need to take action quickly. Don’t fall for it! If you don’t trust it, just hang up and call the organization yourself. Don’t call back the number you were called from, but look up the phone number yourself.

What is Spoofing?

This type of fraud is called spoofing. An internet criminal assumes the identity of a company, institution, or organization that you trust. When they call, for example, you see the name of your bank or insurance company on your phone. But the number is spoofed, you’re talking to someone completely different.

Know when to be alert:

  • You need to take action now;
  • You are pressured to act quickly;
  • You need to transfer money to a safe account, another account, or a secure account;
  • Someone from the bank comes to pick up your debit card because there’s something wrong with it;
  • You need to give your PIN to verify or unblock your account;
  • You need to provide your social security number.

Don’t fall for it and hang up immediately.

Reference Notes:

You may already be aware of my collaboration with the Dutch government and their endorsement of my Information Security PubQuiz. If not, you can read about it here. Regrettably, the government education site that underpins part of my PubQuizzes is not available in English. Therefore, I’ve translated the articles from “” and “” and you can read them on my site. The original source for this article, in Dutch, can be found here.