NewsRegion North PinellasClearwater


Audiology company overwhelmed with phone calls after getting its business number spoofed

The company received more than 250 missed calls
Posted at 10:43 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 06:59:15-05

CLEARWATER, Fla. — An audiology company in Clearwater believes someone spoofed its business phone number. People are calling the company sayings its phone number is showing up on their caller ID.

Michael Wheeler, President of Audibel Hearing Centers, said their phone won't stop ringing.

"Many of them are saying they're calling because they saw a missed call and we explain who we are and apparently our phone number was hacked," said Michael Wheeler.

Someone spoofed the company's business phone number likely to attempt to steal personal information from people. People think an audiology company is calling them when it is not.


The fight to stop robocalls and spoofing

'Spoofing' scams steal your phone number; How to protect yourself from robocalls

Robocalls skyrocket nationwide; here's how to avoid them

"The rhyme or reason who they're calling or what they're planning to gain out of it, I have no idea," said Wheeler.

The company received more than 250 missed calls overnight and dozens of voicemails. 

One person left a message saying "Why did you call me 6 times this morning? Maybe someone is using your phone number." 

Jessica Fuller received a phone call around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. 

Fuller called the phone number back since she thought Audibel called her.

"I do work in healthcare so I was curious to see if it was work related, that's why I called back," said Fuller.

Wheeler said he apologized to callers and he hopes the non-stop phone calls stop.

"I don't know what they plan to gain, but I certainly apologize to anyone that has been inconvenienced. I hope they understand we're not behind it. We're doing everything we can to stop it and find out who is behind it," said Wheeler. 

What to do

The Federal Communications Commission website states, "If you get calls from people saying your number is showing up on their caller ID, it's likely that your number has been spoofed. Usually, scammers switch numbers frequently. It is likely that within hours they will no longer be using your number."

The FCC said, "Anyone who is illegally spoofing can face penalties up to $10,000 for each violation." 

The Better Business Bureau records various scam complaints in real-time via their online scam tracker; you can also report a scam on the BBB website.