12 NEWS DEFENDERS: River Region awash in 'caller ID spoofing' - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

12 NEWS DEFENDERS: River Region awash in 'caller ID spoofing'

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Before you answer your next phone call - it may not be who you think it is on the other end.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission are trying to come up with ways to stop telemarketers from transmitting false information to you caller ID, but the problem persists, and now some folks in the River Region are dealing with it.

The term is 'spoofing'. The FTC and the FCC both have rules against it. That could add up to tens of thousands of dollars in fines for telemarketing companies caught doing this.

But both commissions admit they're having trouble enforcing them.

In Prattville, Cheryl Lee felt a little unsettled when her phone rang and her caller ID showed her own name and number.

She answered the call, and heard a recording offering to lower her credit card interest rate.  That was all Lee needed to hear before she hung up. But she says other people she knows are experiencing similar calls and she wants to make everyone aware.

"Just to try to warn people, and let them know this is happening," says Lee. "For them to use a local number that's not connected with them whatsoever, to me just seems like it's not a very good business practice, or it's just not on the up and up."

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange's office has received several recent complaints about spoofing.  While investigators there look into the complaints, they recommend reporting the issue to your phone provider if you've received these calls, and notifying the FTC.

That number is 1-877-FTC-HELP.

FCC info on Caller ID Spoofing:  http://www.fcc.gov/guides/caller-id-and-spoofing

Latest info from FTC about rules regarding spoofing:  http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2013/12/ftc-ends-rulemaking-caller-id-falsification-issues

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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