The latest in phone scams and robocalls is "spoofing". Something I recently experienced when one of these calls "spoofed" my phone number. "Spoofing" is when one of these robocallers/scammers call someone but mask their own number with another number. It could be of a business, government agency, or a number similar to the number they're calling.

I'm the type that doesn't answer calls from numbers I don't recognize. I figure if it's something important, they'll leave a message. On Monday I received an incoming call. The number was the same area code and prefix as my number. I assumed it was either someone local who dialed the wrong number or one of the robocalls. To my surprise, they left a voicemail. I listened to it and it was a woman who said she received a call from me and she was calling me back. When she called I was sitting in my car responding to my friends on Facebook Messenger. I couldn't even have accidentally called that number at that moment or in the time before as I was shopping and before that, working. So my number that I've had since 2004, was spoofed. That wasn't even the weirdest part. I kid you not, in the voicemail she said her name was SARAH CONNOR.

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SKYNET IS REALL, Y'ALL

Okay, a bit ridiculous, and while the Terminator probably won't be showing up anytime soon, that story is very much true. The reality is, Sarah got lucky. These calls can have very serious consequences for unsuspecting recipients. Who knows what would have been requested of her had she answered? All she knows is some rando named Brittany called her.

Augusta PD responded to a call yesterday where it was reported that the phone number for the Department of Homeland Security was "spoofed." The recipient reported that they were told their identification had been lost and there was a cost involved in the process of getting it returned to them.

For someone to receive such a call out of the blue can cause panic, especially coming from what appears to be a legitimate phone number. I know I'd panic if I saw the Department of Homeland Security pop up on my caller ID. These scammers capitalize on that panic, that the individual will let their guard down and pay whatever is necessary to protect their identity.

Whether it be someone asking for money, attempting to obtain personal information, or Skynet, always be skeptical. If there's ever any question, contact your local police department before giving out any information.