MIAMI (CBS4) – The technology of Caller I.D.’s has changed the way people answer their phones for over the past 10 years.
Despite all of the annoying phone calls people get on a day to day basis, telemarketers all over the world are executing a new strategy that is preventing their potential customers from recognizing who they really are.
Experts like to refer to this sophisticated process as “Caller I.D. Spoofing”.
“You’re prepared for a business call, and when you get something like that, it’s just like you were interrupted for absolutely no good reason,” said Lindee Rochelle who’s been spoofed.
Rochelle registered her phone number with the “National Do Not Call Registry” to avoid all the junk calls offering her stuff she doesn’t need.
But spoofing is a way for telemarketers to disguise themselves as “Card Services” or “Customer Service,” to increase the chances that their call won’t be ignored.
The Federal Trade Commission which regulates telemarketers, requires them to display accurate caller ID information when calling potential customers.
“They use the name or number of a recognizable national brand or organization to give themselves a veil of legitimacy,” said William Maxson.
Secret Service officials say that the Internet is full of applications and programs to help scammers disguise themselves on the phone and computers.
Spoofing alone is not illegal, unless it’s apart of identity theft or fraud, but it is most certainly annoying.
“I will go to the Internet and search that phone number, and oh my goodness, look at that forum full of people complaining about that number,” said Rochelle.
Cybercrime experts warn that you should not give out any personal or financial information if you get any spoofed calls. They also recommend keeping a log of the spoofs you receive so that you can report them to the FTC.
“We’ve already brought nearly a dozen cases against companies that are engaged in caller ID spoofing,” Maxson said.
You can file a complaint with the FTC by logging on to FTC.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
Another recommendation is to report the spoofing to your state Attorney General or your phone company.