Metroplex resident Pam Moynihan’s phone would ring and all too often she had no idea who was on the other end of the line.
“Just started getting three, four, five, up to 10 phone calls every single day,” said Moynihan.
Most of the time the phone calls were a company selling her pharmaceuticals. She asked to be taken off of their call list, joined the National Do Not Call Registry and complained to the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, but the calls kept coming.
“I’ve blocked every number I possibly could until I don’t have any more capability of blocking the numbers,” Moynihan told CW 33 News.
That didn’t work because the company kept using different numbers, a technique called Caller ID spoofing.
“The caller masks the number that they’re calling from. Instead of showing the actually number, it’ll show some other phone number or a general name like customer service or maybe nothing at all,” said Jeannette Kopko, senior vice president of communications at the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas.
Kopko said Caller ID spoofing was a growing problem and illegal. The FTC and the FCC have decided to now crack down.
“Both prohibit using Caller ID spoofing when you’re doing it for harmful or fraudulent intent,” said Kopko.
Violators of the “Truth In Caller ID Act” could be fined up to $10,000 for each violation, or up to three times that amount for each day they stay in violation, up to $1 million, according to the FCC.
“I think the problem is growing, and therefore the response from law enforcement is growing too,” Kopko told CW 33 News.
Kopko said while you can’t do much in terms of stopping the calls, you could help in the fight against Caller ID spoofing.
“If you know who it is that is calling you, you can complain to the Better Business Bureau, to the Federal Trade Commission, to the FCC,” she said.
Moynihan hoped the feds would do more.
“We need more action, we need more attention,” said Moynihan.