Scammers are a prolific and increasing threat in our digital world. Sometimes, they use the names of technology companies, like CenturyLink, to run scams. Using a company’s name to run a scam is known as spoofing. Scammers may spoof phone calls or emails, which is known as phishing.
Therefore, it’s important to know what these tactics look like, as well as how a company, like CenturyLink, will contact customers. In this blog, we’re going over a couple of scams criminals use to pose as CenturyLink.
Here at CenturyLink, we value our customer’s and our website visitor’s security. We strive to make our online spaces and your online experience safe and enjoyable. Though we take immense precautions in monitoring, preventing and identifying fraudulent behavior related to the website, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of fraudulent online activity.
What is caller ID spoofing?
Scammers have tools that can mask their phone number and make it look like it is coming from someone else. They can make it look like it’s coming from someone in your area, a company (like CenturyLink), or even your financial institution. It’s called caller ID spoofing. The goal of this tactic is to make the phone call look like it’s coming from someone you can trust. If you answer the call, the scammer may tell you that they need you to confirm your account information, your social security number, or other personal information. Some scammers may tell you they need remote access to your computer and ask you to download software. They may leave you a voicemail and ask you to call them back at a certain number.
If you suspect that you have received a spoof call, DO NOT give the caller any of your personal information. Hang up and call CenturyLink at the number on your bill to verify the call.
If you continue to receive inappropriate spoofing calls, contact the CenturyLink Annoyance Call Bureau at 800-582-0655. Be prepared to share any relevant information with them such as the dates/times you’ve received spoofed calls. We’re here to help!
A spoofed email is a phishing email. Like a scam phone call, these emails may appear to come from someone you know, your bank, or a company like CenturyLink. These emails look legitimate. They may even have logos and designs that look like the real thing. The email address may look real too.
The message of the email will often be urgent. The scammer may tell you your account is past due and ask you to make a payment at a link. They may tell you your internet is at risk, and ask you to download “security” software. If you click the link or download software, you could infect your device with malware, or “malicious software”. Ransomware attacks often start through phishing.
If you suspect you have received a phishing email, DO NOT click on any links or download any attachments. If you receive a phishing email in your CenturyLink email inbox, you can forward it to us.
You can also forward suspected phishing emails to:
- The company, bank, or organization impersonated in the phishing email
Examples of scams run by criminal pretending to be CenturyLink
Scammers claiming to be CenturyLink will often use your account, your internet service, or your devices as the reason they are contacting you. Here are some reported and common examples of tactics they use:
- The scammer calls and tells you your account has been compromised. They ask you to verify your social security number, username, password, account number, or other confidential information.
- You receive a email claiming to be from CenturyLink. It tells you that your account is past due and needs urgent action. They ask you to pay at a link in the email.
- Someone calls you and they say they are a service technician from CenturyLink. Next, they tell you that they need access to your computer right away to update your internet service. They ask you to download software
- A person claiming to be from CenturyLink calls you to let you know that the company wants to update customer routers to 5G to improve internet speeds. They ask you to download TeamViewer so they can assist you with the upgrade.
- The scammer calls you to tell you that there are issues with your CenturyLink modem. They ask you to give them remote access to your computer.
Do’s and don’ts
- Do not trust your caller ID.
- Do not provide any sensitive information, including your user ID and/or password; your financial information, including bank account information, credit card or debit card information, or your pin; your social security number.
- Do not transfer any money via wire transfer or online gift cards. CenturyLink will never ask for payment this way.
- Do not allow callers to access your computer or device either by providing login information or by allowing remote access.
- Do not trust or open emails that come from any email domain other than centurylink.com
- Do trust your instincts. If something feels off, it probably is.
- Do hang up and call the number on the bottom of your bill to contact a real CenturyLink representative.
- Do report any CenturyLink scam calls or emails you receive.
- If a caller asks you to download modem firmware, DO hang up and call the number on your bill to confirm.
Have you been contacted by a scammer?
If you think you’ve been contacted by a scammer and are concerned about your devices, your accounts, or your personal information, take these steps:
- Update your password for any device or account that you are concerned about. Next, change your password for any accounts that may have personal information, including your email address and your financial accounts.
- Use your antivirus software to see if malware has been installed on your device.
- Write down all the details of the event.
- Report it! Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) site. Follow the prompts to submit your complaint.
- If you provided a credit card number to someone that you now suspect is a scammer, contact your credit card company or any of the three major credit bureaus. Then, sign up for their credit monitoring service, a fee-based service that will automatically notify you whenever your credit record is accessed. Contact information for the three major credit bureaus is as follows: Equifax (888-548-7878), Experian (888-397-3742), and Trans Union (833-395-6938).
- If you believe you have been contacted by someone posing as a CenturyLink employee or have given personal information through a fraudulent website posing as a CenturyLink website, please contact CenturyLink immediately. Residential customers, please call 800-366-8201, and business customers please call 877-365-0045.
What CenturyLink is doing about spoofing and phishing attacks
CenturyLink considers the security of our customers’ devices and personal information a top priority. We will continue to investigate spoofing and phishing scams and implement proactive and preventive measures to combat cybercriminals. CenturyLink cooperates with investigations by law enforcement, and we share information related to fraud as necessary.
Before you act, pause
When it looks like a legitimate company is trying to contact you and the request is either urgent or financial in nature, remember to pause before you act. Scammers often try to rush people into acting too quickly before their common sense can kick into action. Please remember that CenturyLink will never contact you via email or phone to get your personal information, including your social security number or your credit card account information.
For more information on cybersecurity and how to protect yourself online, please read: