Lake Mary man says his phone number is being spoofed

FCC working on solution to prevent spoofing schemes

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

LAKE MARY, Fla. - Lake Mary resident, Rick Kaufman, recently discovered his cellphone number has become the front for a credit card marketing scam because of illegal spoofing

“The phone number is out there,” Kaufman said. “They’re spoofing that number and making calls.”

The longtime Lake Mary resident told News 6 that he has been receiving spoofed calls to both his home and cellphone numbers since Thanksgiving.

Kaufman discovered that at least six people from South Florida to Wisconsin had received a credit card interest rate pitch from his cell phone number. It's a number that he said he has used for 30 years.

“I get calls from people saying please don’t call me,” Kaufman said. “I’m not going to change my phone number. I was the second installation for the old Cellular One and that was 1980.”

By last Wednesday, Kaufman had received three more calls, this time offering him credit card deals.

Kaufman followed protocol and filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission but he said the response was frustrating.

The response he received reads in part:

"Unwanted calls are the largest category of complaints the FCC receives. We know they can be annoying, deceptive and disruptive. Thus, we welcome your help by filing your complaint and sharing details about your experience. We also want to hear from you if you continue to receive them. You may file additional complaints at any time. The information you provide allows us to spot trends and practices warranting investigation and enforcement actions.”

Experts say that spoofing allows the scammers to avoid detection.

News 6 has learned that the FCC is developing “technical solutions” to stop the spoofing schemes.

One system likely to be introduced later this year is called Stir-Shaken, an acronym for Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) and Secure Handling of Asserted information using tokens. The system creates protocols to counter ID spoofing meaning that if the legitimate owner of the number isn’t on the other end the person on the receiving end will know it.

How to report spoof calls

AT&T instructs its customers can file complaints about spoof calls through the FCC online or by calling 1-888-225-5322 (CALL FCC).

Both the FCC and the wireless communications trade association, CTIA, have consumer information on spoofing and robocalls.

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