We’re getting word from a federal investigator that a telephone scam is growing. It's getting bigger right here in Southern Colorado.
In fact it has one local woman's phone is ringing off the hook. It’s all because of caller ID spoofing. It's when scammers have a phone number show up on your caller ID, but it's not the number they are calling from.
“Front Range Towing and Recovery. Hello? They hung up. That was New Jersey,” Stayc LaFean said.
LaFean is bombarded with phone calls.
“This is another one."
Her phone was ringing off the hook in the short time we talked with her. Typically this would be a good thing for her tow truck company, but it's not customers on the line. Instead, scammers have spoofed her phone number and are using her number to call people and get their personal information. The victims are angry and then call LaFean back.
“I’ve had over 275 calls since 9 this morning,” explained LaFean.
So, what can she do?
“Unfortunately there's not a lot we can tell the victim. In fact I talked to an FTC investigator who tells me this is one of the most challenging issues they face,” said 11 Call for Action anchor Betty Sexton.
Sexton says there's really no way to keep this from happening other than to call your phone company and report it. LaFean has filed a report with the FTC and with her phone company. But the calls have not stopped.
“I don't know. If the government can't fix it, I don't know,” said LaFean.
While your phone number may not be spoofed like LaFean's is, investigators say they worry more people will fall for scams.
Let's say your bank calls, or you think it's your bank because that's what shows up caller ID you may be more likely to give them your personal information.
We first told you about this issue in an 11 Call for Action alert about a month ago. Scammers were using a Monument woman’s phone number.
We told you then the government is now asking phone companies to develop the technology to stop this practice.