WAVE Country business owner gets 'spoofed' by robocall
JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - It seems like everybody gets them - annoying robocalls. Now scammers have upped their game by masking their number with yours.
"So when people were getting phone calls, it was coming up as our number," Chuck Fugate, the Managing Broker at Compass Realtors, told WAVE 3 News.
The calls can seem to come from your area code or neighborhood, even. The feds call it "neighbor spoofing."
It's driven Fugate, and many others, crazy. His Compass Realtors number was being illegally used in a student loan scam. People were calling back upset.
"Our business is based on trust and when, anytime deception comes into play, that hurts my reputation," Fugate said. "So yeah, it angers me."
Fugate filed complaints with the feds.
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"It's challenging," Will Wiquist of the Federal Communications Commission, or the FCC, told WAVE 3 News. "The phone network is very complex."
The FCC said technology has made neighbor spoofing easy. It's garnished thousands of complaints a year.
Recently, the commission broke a record by fining a man from Miami $120 million. His company sold travel packages and time shares.They were accused of making 100 million spoofed robocalls in three months.
"A lot of the spoofed calls are used to try to defraud consumers," Wiquist said. "So it's not just annoying, it can be dangerous."
The FCC has made recent changes to policy to allow phone companies to block calls before they get to consumers. But they said the technology to keep up with scammers is still a few years away.
Fugate said he hopes they put those changes on speed dial.
"These are simple fixes, we just need to fix it," he said.
The FCC does have some tips consumers can use to stop the robocalls or from being a victim. You can find them here.
One, they recommend checking with your cell phone company for phone blocking features and apps. You can also register your number on the national do not call list. They also encourage people to file a complaint with the FCC or the Federal Trade Commission. If it's a text message, you can forward it to the phone company by dialing "SPAM" or 7726.
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