Graphics company becomes victim of Caller ID spoofing

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PHOENIX -- Up in the North Valley, there's a growing little graphics company called Designed in Ink. Jason Brockway owns the company and says business is good.

"You provide us with your artwork, and we put it on T-shirts," Brockway said.

He said that even with the economy the way it is, the company has seen steady growth and new clients. But instead of printing T-shirts, he and his employees are busy doing something else. They're taking phone calls from angry consumers saying, "Don't call my number again."

"We caught wind that someone was using our phone number that had nothing to do with our company," Brockway said.

It's called Caller ID Spoofing and here’s how it works. Telemarketing scammers make their robo calls but disguise themselves by having another business number that they've stolen pop up on Caller ID. As a result, consumers call the number back, numbers like Brockway’s, and demand to be taken off the call list.

"The phone calls are quite hostile," Brockway said.

Caller ID spoofing is prevalent. In fact, 3 On Your Side found a website advertising, "Disguise your Caller ID. Display a different number to protect yourself or pull a prank on a friend."

But, Brockway said the telemarketing company using his business number is putting him in the hot seat. 

"They are using our number, they are harassing other people and there's nothing they can do about it," he said.

The Federal Communications Commission said spoofing is illegal under the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 if the call is made to defraud someone. The FCC cracks down on spoofers, but only after people like Brockway file complaints with the agency.

Brockway said that's what he intends to do but in the meantime, he and his employees are frustrated.

"I just hope this does not happen to anyone else," Brockway said.

About a year ago, I told you about an East Valley business that had their number "spoofed." They filed a complaint with the FCC and the telemarketer was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, filing a complaint really does help.

Please let the FCC know about ID spoofers by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC or going to www.fcc.gov/complaints.