The 800 area code, generally linked to free business calls, hides a potentially dangerous deception. If you receive a call with the 800 area code, be cautious: it could be a toll-free number scam. Often, hackers hide behind the identities of well-known companies, using this ruse to obtain sensitive information or even empty bank accounts.
Toll-free number scam: spoofing
Through the practice known as “spoofing,” scammers carry out a seemingly simple deception, manipulating the number telephone number to represent reliable services, such as those offered by your bank.
Using social engineering techniques on social media, they change the number to convince users to disclose personal informations. This form of fraud, called spoofing, involves complex strategies to falsify identity, with attacks such as caller ID spoofing, which uses VoIP technology to personalize the number and start telephone scams (vishing).
The toll-free number represents a company service designed to facilitate communications with customers. When called, the service is free for the user, while the company covers the cost. It is important to note that toll-free numbers can only receive calls and not carry them out.
Introduced in the 60s in the United States, the toll-free number also entered Italy in 1999, adopting the prefix 800.
Other tricks and recommendations
Criminals also take advantage of deceptive websites, replicating pages with a similar layout in order to steal sensitive data. This practice also extends to emails, where scammers can alter addresses by simulating those of trusted contacts.
SMS are not excluded from these maneuvers: scammers change the sender's identity to send malicious links and spread malware.
The rule consists inignore calls with the 800 area code and to refrain from sharing personal information. Against other types of spoofing, it is recommended to avoid responding to suspicious SMS or opening links of dubious origin.
The activation of anti-spam filters and the adoption oftwo-factor authentication they can prove crucial to preventing fraud. In the event of a scam, it is imperative to immediately change your passwords, block the credit/debit cards involved and report it to the Postal Police to safeguard your online security.