Friday, August 29, 2008

public awareness #1: bogus caller id

When I started back on the blogging bandwagon, I decided to start several series of posts, 'have you wanted to...', 'have you noticed...', and 'money-saver tips...', but after a call last night, I must add a new one, 'public awareness...', and it had to be made as the first, so here goes...

A woman called my house last evening and left a message on my answering machine. I almost quickly deleted it when she started out by saying, 'YOU DO NOT KNOW ME, BUT...'. I am thankful that I listened to the message.

Apparently, she received two calls from telemarketing companies, one for satellite service and the other for automobile warranty insurance. This would have seemed normal except that the caller id of the calls had MY NAME AND PHONE NUMBER. She only answered the call since it appeared as a local number. She left her home number and I was able to talk to her later in the evening and gather more details.

She said that she asked them how they were using a local number to make the calls and the response was something like this, 'WE HAVE WAYS TO DO IT.'

Besides the oddity that my name and phone number was being used, but my home number is non-published and supposed to be caller id blocked.

I made calls to Windstream this morning and they are going to put check, traces, or something on my line to figure out how this being done.

I was transferred to their trap and trace service to see if anything more to be done. The service rep told me some telemarketing companies have been illegally putting in any number they want as the caller id. If I knew the actual number that they were calling from they could do more. Well, since they did not call me, I can't get that information.

I also reported this to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Response Center. If they get enough reports of this problem, they will investigate. That really doesn't really help me now, but is at least something.

After my phone call to the FTC, I realized something. The telemarketing service may have pulled my number from some collection of area numbers, but how did they get my name?

I will be making another call to Windstream.


  1. WOW! Go ahead little consumer advocate! Sista GP for President!

  2. Oh no! I like my skeletons dusty at the bottom of the closet in the back room.

  3. Were there any "opt-out" or "opt-in" default rules in your contract?

  4. kelso
    not sure, but i registered the number with the state and national no call lists as soon as I was assigned the number.

  5. mizrepresent
    windstream's investigators have called me several times and they are keeping tabs on my line


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