CHICAGO (CBS) — We’ve all been there. The phone rings during dinner or when you’re putting the kids to bed and it’s a telemarketer. The National Do Not Call Registry was put in place to stop these calls, but some telemarketers are finding a way to get around the law and get you on the phone.
As CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, the Federal Trade Commission is cracking down.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Testifies Osundairo Brothers Asked For $2 Million To Say They Weren't Involved In Any Hoax
Lindee Rochelle’s name and number have been on the National Do Not Call Registry since it started, but about two times a week a telemarketer rings her home office.
“When you get something like that it’s just like you were interrupted for absolutely no good reason,” Rochelle said.
She said she checks her Caller ID before picking up the phone, but sometimes a phone number that looks like a business turns out to be a telemarketer.
“I will go to the internet and search that phone number, and oh my goodness, look at that forum full of people complaining about that number,” she said.
Rochelle is a victim of Caller ID spoofing — when callers disguise their name and phone number to get around the Do Not Call Registry. The Federal Trade Commission said it’s a growing problem with telemarketers spoofing to pitch credit cards, mortgage relief and debt relief.
“Each month, when we look at our top number of complaints for Do Not Call violations, spoofed Caller ID name and number are always at the top,” FTC attorney William Maxson said.READ MORE: Man Shot Multiple Times, Killed In Chinatown
Telemarketers are required to display accurate Caller ID information, but with spoofing, the name of the caller may show up as something generic.
They could identify themselves as “card services” or “customer service.” Sometimes they’ll even use false names.
“They use the name or number of a recognizable national brand or organization to give themselves a veil of legitimacy,” Maxson said.
That makes it difficult for consumers to screen out unwanted calls, which is why the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse says it’s important to keep a log of the spoofs you receive.
Amber Yoo says to include, “the date, the time. Was it a male or a female voice? What did they say? We recommend actually taking a photo of what your Caller ID is showing you.” Then report what you find to the FTC.
Maxson says the agency is cracking down.
“We’ve already brought nearly a dozen cases against companies that are engaged in Caller ID spoofing.”MORE NEWS: Amazon Web Services Reports Major Outage; Netflix, Venmo, Instacart Among Many Affected Sites
You can file a complaint with the FTC by logging on to FTC.gov or by calling 877-FTC-HELP. Maxson also recommended reaching out to the Illinois Attorney General’s office or your phone company.