Scammers have targeted thousands of people in the Central Valley by calling them. The Madera County Sheriff's Office is warning people to not answer calls from strange phone numbers with an odd series of numbers.
All day Monday people received calls from the telephone number '000-000-0000', it's an off shore number and the people behind it want to steal your identity and money.
When Marcos De Ochoa's phone rang Monday afternoon he thought the ten-digit number was odd, but he picked it up.
"I've gotten some phone calls in the past where my friends are maybe playing a prank on me, they could switch their phone number or it's someone out of the country calling me. So, I answered to see what would happen," says Marcus De Ochoa.
The Madera man says an automated voice told him that his account had been deactivated. De Ochoa says he knew better and didn't enter any personal information. He says he just dialed numbers in an attempt to get a real person on the line.
"I was on the phone for around 4-minutes until they hung up on me," says De Ochoa.
There are two types of scams associated with the zero phone number. One is when you answer the phone thieves use software to steal everything you have stored on your phone. Monday's scam involved stealing credit card numbers and identities.
"I think the world of privacy as we used to know it is pretty much gone and everything we have is subject to hacking," says Madera County Sheriff John Anderson.
Sheriff Anderson, who also got a call from the zero number, says the best thing to do is not answer the phone.
"It's the world we live in," adds Sheriff Anderson, "This just makes it easier for them."
De Ochoa says he's won't answer calls from strange numbers again. He's also glad that he doesn't keep personal information on his phone.
"Usually I like to memorize my credit card information," says De Ochoa, "Nowadays with the internet or phone calls you don't know when that type of information can be stolen."
You can block scam related numbers on your phone. If you have an I-Phone just go to your recent calls list, click on the 'I' next to the number, scroll down to block this caller and block the number.
If you have a Droid or other types of phone call your provider to find out to block telephone numbers.