If you think you can combat robocalls with caller ID, think again.
Northern Kentucky resident Robin Gilbert said she recently discovered a new way telemarketers are getting around this popular tool.
Gilbert said she was working on her needlepoint last month when her phone rang. She took a quick look to see who it was, and said she was stunned at who was calling her.
"I went to see the caller ID to see if I was going to answer it, and lo and behold it was me, exactly how it shows up in the phone book,” Gilbert said.
That’s right: Her caller ID showed her own name and number.
Gilbert said she was freaked out, and picked up the phone out of curiosity.
"I answered it with a ‘Hello? Who is this?’ And it was one of those stupid robocalls," she said.
This is a new scam known as caller ID spoofing – but there's nothing funny about this spoof.
Unscrupulous telemarketers can now buy devices and apps that will change the number that shows up on your caller ID.
"I'm curious as to where they got it, and how they got it to show up on my home phone," Gilbert said.
The Better Business Bureau says the newest spoofing devices let marketers display the exact number they are calling.
And even worse, what they’re doing it legal. Private eyes, lawyers and people trying to catch a spouse cheating often use this method to hide their identities.
But scammers are using this method a lot – even pretending to be President Barack Obama at the White House just to get you to answer.
If you can find out who is calling (for instance: if they give you a number to call back), report that number to the national Do-Not-Call registry at 1-888-382-1222.
Enough complaints about a number and the Federal Trade Commission will investigate and prosecute.
And that way, you don’t waste your money.
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