Over the past three weeks, I have been receiving calls from people asking if someone just called them. When I got the first call, I thought maybe my cellphone dialed the number by accident while in my purse. But then I got a second and third call. All from different people and different parts of the country. I met one woman who said that in addition my number on her called id "Loan Modification" appears.
At first I thought someone had hacked my cellphone or was cloning my number. After extensive review with Verizon Wireless fraud and technology departments, we determined my number hadn't been hacked or cloned. I did an internet search (how did we ever survive before the internet and wikipedia???) and I learned about "Caller ID Spoofing". My cellnumber is an extremely easy number, so it's not inconceivable that my number could be used by a spoofer.
Verizon Wireless offered to change my cell number. I'm still mulling over the offer. Part of my issue is that this has been my number for 12 years and it's really my lifeline. I use this number for everything. It would take me months to get the word out that I changed my number. If I changed it the calls would stop, but I'm only getting one call a day, plus I'm meeting some very interesting people.
However, there is a bigger issue. The issue is that anyone's number can be spoofed. I spoke to the FBI who were of no help. After some more internet research, I learned this falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), but not really. The FCC is trying to do what they can, but it takes and act of Congress for the FCC to really go after people who spoof. Congress is stalling on passing legislation (Senate Bill 111-30 Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009). I decided to fight. I know that this isn't an easy battle... especially since DC has not Senate representation (which is a topic for another day).
First, I need an advocate with deep pockets. I sent an email to Verizon Wireless asking for their assistance. I know I'm going to have to be persistent. I also plan to work my way through the FCC ranks in addition to communicating with Congresswoman Nortons' office.
We'll see how it goes.... wish me luck.