The fight to stop robocalls and spoofing

Woman discovers own number being used by scammers

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Anne Terry says the ringing at her New Port Richey is relentless.

“I’ve been getting spam calls or spoof calls for years.”

A couple of the most of frequent offenders are phony calls claiming to be from Microsoft or from the IRS.

Terry says she never falls for the fakes.

“I don’t give them any information. None whatsoever. I’ve gotten to the point where I scream in the ear that this is a scam and I hang up the phone.”

In recent months, Terry’s caller ID shows the calls coming from familiar local numbers. It’s a technique by telemarketers known as 'spoofing.'

But what really bothers is her, is finding out her own number was used.

“That really unnerved me because now they are using my cell phone number to spoof other people.”

According to the YouMail Robocall Index, Americans get almost 1300 robocalls every second.

That totaled more than 3 billion just last month.

To stop the unwanted calls, your first step is to register for the Do Not Call List.

There are several apps worth trying out designed to stop the unwanted calls. Mr. Number, NomoRobo, and True Caller are some of them. Features include blocking known scams, blocking numbers hidden on purpose and numbers that aren’t in your contacts.

Most smartphones have blocking features, and phone companies do too.

Locally, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office says they get constant complaints about phone scams. They say spoofing local numbers is just the latest tactic.

As for Terry, she always hangs up, but knows some people may become victims.

“I just don’t want other people to get scammed with my phone number.”

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