Roofing Scam Targets Customers Through Abi-Haus Phone Number

Published 07/11 2014 10:02PM

Updated 07/11 2014 10:42PM

It's that same hailstorm that lead to an influx of roofing companies looking for work. While some of the out of town roofers are legitimate, others are "spoofing" which means they get access to phone numbers which appear to be local.

A roofing company somehow gained access to Abi-Haus' phone number and has used it to try to get new customers following the hailstorm in Abilene last month.

Abi-Haus owner, Jimbo Jackson says, "They were going to be here for a short time doing roof inspections and basically they were  promising that they were going to replace your roof for free regardless of what your insurance company said that they would do for a minimum deposit."

The roofers wanted money up front but they never gave people the name of the company and the Abi-Hause owner had no clue what was going on until the next day.

Jimbo says, "We started to get a massive amount of phone calls for folks that were returning missed calls from a company.The company wasn't leaving a message so these folks were just returning the calls to see what was going on."

Jimbo contacted AT&T and they said the restaurant had fallen victim to an online calling device called spoofing. Spoofing is an online call list where people can put whatever phone number they want to as their outgoing call and AT&T can't track it.

Jimbo immediately alerted the authorities. "Local authorities had already gotten some calls on it because they are actually getting cell phone numbers which is illegal," Jimbo says, "so at that point our hands were kind of tied because our phone was ringing off the hook on what we could do."

Abi-Haus is not the first company that has fallen to spoofing. This scam can reach anyone. It wasn't targeting the Abi-Haus restaurant specifically, but rather trying to gain large groups of people.

Abi-Haus is taking this seriously and wants everyone to know that they should think twice before giving money over the phone.

"Make sure you are not blindly giving out any personal information, we had nothing do with it," Jimbo says,"We feel terrible. We weren't able to do to go orders or reservations last night (July 10th) because our phone rang off the hook from people returning roofing calls."

According to the restaurant's manager, the FCC is filing a complaint and plans to follow up with the company in hopes of preventing this from happening again.

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