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Investigation Unit: Caller ID Spoofing

The national do not call registry was put in place to stop telemarketer calls, but some telemarketers are finding a way to get around the law and get you on the phone. <br>
Lindee rochelle has always been dialed in to the national do not call registry but about two times a week, a telemarketer rings her home office.   

"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 victim Lindee Rochelle.

Lindee checks her caller ID before picking up the phone, but has noticed that some telemarketers aren't who they appear to be.

Rochelle said, "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."

Lindee is a victim of caller ID spoofing, it happens when a caller disguises their name and phone number to make it look like they're someone else.

Now, the federal trade commission has a warning, some telemarketers are using spoofing to get around the national do not call registry, fraudulently pitching things like credit cards, mortgage relief, and debt relief.

William Maxson with the FTC calls it a serious and growing problem.

"Each month when we look at our top number of complaints for do not call violations, spoofed caller id name and number are always at the top," said Maxson.

Under the current rules, telemarketers are required to display accurate caller ID information.

When a call is spoofed, digits often show up as dead, meaning they aren't real.

Other times, the name of the caller is generic, like card services or customer service.

Maxson said, "They use the name or number of a recognizable national brand or organization to give themselves a veil of legitimacy."

"It's that invasion of privacy that concerns us. The consumer can feel overwhelmed," said Amber Yoo, of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

That's why the privacy rights clearinghouse says it's important to keep a log of the spoofs you receive.

Yoo said, "The date, the time, was it a male or a female voice? What did they say? We
recommend actually taking a photo of what your caller id is showing you."

Then, report what you find to the FTC, they're fighting back by actively investigating complaints.

Maxson said, "We've already brought nearly a dozen cases against companies that are
engaged in caller id spoofing."

Maxson also  recommends reaching out to the Texas attorney general, or your phone company.
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