Over last few months, I have been hearing complaints from people I have never met, nor known by any means. And what do they have to say? Stop calling me!!!

This is the classic case of spam email, only difference is it’s a phone call. Someone can spoof your email address easily. In my case, they happen to spoof Caller ID. There seems to be a telemarketing company calling people with the phone number that I don’t recall owning for last 10 years.

You would think the phone companies are diligent in updating their records when a phone number is inactive and is reassigned to someone else. However, talking to XO communications who owns this number per public records, I was surprised to find out that the new owner of the phone number is responsible for updates to the caller id. Which means, if they have intent to defraud people, they would never want to reveal their identity and just keep using old caller id. See the issue here?

What have I done?

Over past few months, I have called XO multiple times. After calling them over and over, I have hit a wall. The last conversation ended when they told me they can’t change anything since I don’t own the account and the account owner must authorize the change!!! Are you kidding me XO?

The other option I was told is to take the legal route. Wonderful.

I have also been actively seeking complaints on reverse number lookup and complaint sites. As much as possible, I have been posting on those board to let people know of real situation and asking them to file complaint with FCC.

What am I going to do?

While it’s none of anyone else’s business, I will keep it simple. I know my rights and I will exercise them as necessary. That should suffice for your curiosity.

What can you do if you received a call from this number?

First and very important thing you should do is understand the situation before blindly calling, emailing, twitting angrily and threatening me. Act like a grown up.

Second thing you should do is take proper actions like. I will outline them for you if you aren’t aware:

  • Take note of call time, date and any other pertinent details
  • Understand FCC policy on fraudulent calls and caller ID spoofing. You can read more on FCC site: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/caller-id-and-spoofing
  • File a complaint with FCC providing as much details as possible. You can find details in “Filing a Complaint” section on FCC website: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/caller-id-and-spoofing
  • Use call blocking feature that most phone companies provide and block the offending number

I hope you understand the reality of world we live in that not everything is what it seems. Just because someone called you with my name in their caller id, does not mean I called you. Don’t be a fool. Be a responsible grown up and take the sensible route of finding facts about the actual phone number that calls you and not the caller id that it claims to be.