Sick of the ‘spoof’ calls? Here’s what you should do

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)  – A Congressman in the Johnson City area says he supports a legislative effort to shut down a type of illegal telemarketing.

It’s called spoofing.  The Federal Communications Commission says companies hide behind what appear to be a local phone numbers in order to trick you into answering the phone.

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“I answered the phone because it says it’s my sister on the caller I.D., but the voice on the phone says ‘You have won a week in a time share!’”  said Lisa Stoner, a Johnson City businessman who is one of dozens of people who shared stories of robocall and telemarketing fatigue with WJHL-TV as part of our on-going investigation.

Stoner says she gets several unwanted calls every day, and some of them come from what appear to be local numbers.

That’s despite the fact she’s registered on the “Do Not Call” List.

Click HERE to see a report on why the registry isn’t working as well as it used to and what you can do to block the calls.

Congressman Phil Roe (R-Johnson City) says he’s heard about the complaints.   Roe said he supported what’s called the “Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009.” 

According to the FCC:

“The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 and the Commission’s rules prohibit spoofing with the intent to cause harm, defraud, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.  Consumers rely on caller ID information to make decisions about what calls to accept, ignore, or block. Accurate caller ID information is a vital tool that consumers use to protect their privacy, avoid fraud, and ensure peace of mind.”

Last month, the FCC proposed a $120 million fine against a Miami, Florida man accused of making almost 100 million spoofed robocalls using numbers that appeared local to lure people into a vacation pitch.

Roe says he’s confident the Federal Communications Commission is trying to stop spoofers.

“Today, the FCC will seek to secure telephone networks against illegal robocallers by implementing authentication standards for telephone calls,” Roe said.  “Unwanted robocalls can be very irritating, and I am pleased the FCC is working to resolve this issue as we speak.”

“While it may not be perfect, I urge Americans to sign up for the Do Not Call Registry through the FTC to stop legitimate telemarketers from calling you.,” said Rep. Roe.

Click HERE to sign up for the Do Not Call Registry.

If you get one of these spoof calls, report it to the Federal Communications Commission.

Click HERE to report spoofing, or call (888) 225-5322 .

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