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Scammers using spoof calls and texts | Crime

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Scammers using spoof calls and texts
Crime, News
Scammers using spoof calls and texts

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - You can no longer trust the number that comes up on your caller ID. This message is coming from the Attorney General's Office.

Scammers are using numbers you recognize and sometimes even your own phone number to get you to answer your phone. This is called spoofing. And now, even spoof texts are popping up in the state. One woman says she gets these calls every day.

Any time the phone rings, Leslie Ford questions whether to answer it.

"It would be nice to just be able to pick up the phone and say hello," said Ford.

But over the last three years, for Ford, picking up the phone and just saying hello happens less and less. Several years ago, Ford put her home phone number on the national do not call list. But calls continued to come in every day, sometimes three to five times a day.

Ford added, "California. Pennsylvania. Florida."

The calls mostly came from out-of-state. But in the last six months a local number Ford recognized popped up. She answered.

"It was the credit card company," said Ford.

The number was one number off from hers. Ford hung up and hit redial.

"What they get is an individual who knows nothing of the scheme and who is receiving calls day and night from people complaining why did you call me," said Deputy Attorney General Jim DePriest.

DePriest says this is why it is difficult to track down the scammers to prosecute. Often times, the calls continue, giving some people no choice but to change their phone numbers.

"We are struggling for solutions to all this," said DePriest.

Spoofing calls can come through on a land line. They can come through on a cell phone, and the most recent that the Arkansas Attorney General's Office is seeing is a text message coming from your own phone number.

DePriest added, "You have to be careful on what you click on on a text you could be incurring a charge merely by clicking on it."

DePriest says spoofing is a crime in itself.

"You know what they are calling about is likely a scam if they are already violating the law," said DePriest.

This is not a problem the state's AG's office can fix. This week, the Federal Trade Commission is part of a tech conference in Las Vegas trying to collect ideas from people in the tech world about how to deal with robocalls and caller ID spoofing.

If you are getting spoofing calls or texts, you can call your phone company to block the number. Also, report it to the Attorney General's Office. DePriest says recently fewer people have stopped reporting.

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