NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Sal Scafidi knew something was wrong Monday morning. His Norfolk-based Triumph Moving and Storage was getting too many calls, too many texts.
Telemarketers were using a number that he’s had for years – 404-6683 or 404-MOVE. The people those telemarketers had called started to call and text Scafidi, because his number came up on their caller ID.
“People are calling in every 30 seconds saying we were calling them, and we did not.”
They weren’t happy.
“They were angry and cursing. Don’t call me, stop calling my phone. The stuff you would say to a telemarketer.”
The telemarketers were spoofing his number to call people about student loans, and then those people called Scafidi.
“I had to put the phone down and said I just can’t answer any more calls, so basically business is shut down.”
He even changed the outgoing message on the number to apologize for something he didn’t even cause. And then he called Verizon.
“And the first thing that they told me was … oh man, you’ve been spoofed.”
Verizon told him to call the FCC. Scafidi says they weren’t much help either.
In the meantime, Scafidi’s business is using its other number, 855-MOVE. And if your phone rings and you see 404-6683 in the caller ID, don’t blame Triumph Moving and Storage.
“We don’t solicit moves over the phone, it’s not us, please check us out on line.”
10 On Your Side contacted the FCC to see whether it can trace who’s spoofing a number, and find out how much ownership we have when it comes to our phone numbers. The agency gave us this response:
“If someone is getting calls from people saying their number is showing up on their caller ID, it’s likely that the number has been spoofed. For anyone getting these types of calls, we suggest first that you do not answer calls from unknown numbers. If you do answer, explain that your telephone number is being spoofed and that you did not actually make the calls. You could also place a message on your voicemail letting callers know that your number is being spoofed. Usually scammers switch numbers frequently. It is likely that within hours they will no longer be using your number.
In the instance you described, we would recommend that the business owner notify the phone company about the spoofed call. We also encourage filing a complaint with the FCC.”
The FCC web page on spoofing says as long as no harm is intended or caused, spoofing is legal.