Aug 21, 2014
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Caller ID spoofing a 'large problem' in North Country
It’s an illegal practice by which scammers use a software program to make it appear that they are calling from another phone number — ostensibly and invariably in an effort to gain access to the call recipient’s personal data and, ultimately, their money.
“I think it’s a large problem,” said Robitaille, who is a former Gorham selectman.
He’s pleased, though, about awareness of such scams among seniors.
“At the last senior lecture that I gave, I was surprised by how aware the seniors were of these scams,” Robitaille said, “A lot of them talk to each other, so the surprise is going away.”
Not everyone, however, knows what is going on and recently, phone users around the state have reported getting calls from “Unknown” or “Restricted” callers, and, in the case of a Jefferson resident and others, from, seemingly, themselves.
“It’s happened twice,” the resident said. “The first time you think it’s a mistake and when it happens again, you just begin to wonder.”
His department’s website warns the public about the “power company” scam in which someone pretending to be from a utility, calls a homeowner or business and warns that electricity will be cut off unless they immediately resolve a “problem” with a recent bill.
Jeff Nevins, who is FairPoint Communications’ public relations manager for Maine and New Hampshire, said readily-available software lets scammers put whatever numbers they want into a caller ID display.
“People need to be extraordinarily suspicious about unsolicited calls and requests for personal information,” Boffetti said.
Kati Daffan, an attorney in the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection in Washington, said her agency has been dealing with a variety of scams, including caller ID spoofing.
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