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The Truth About Caller ID Spoofs

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Telemarketers have found a new way to manipulate caller ID and your phone number could be the next victim.

It's a a crime known as "spoofing" where telemarketers, and in some cases con men, pass off other people's phone numbers as their own when placing calls.   Rick Zawadski has dealt with the effects of a spoofing on his personal phone number.

Zawadski said he's gotten hundreds of calls from people who said they've gotten calls from his phone. The calls were actually coming from someone else who may have used a robo-dialer.

"I suspect these are computer generated calls that are going through," said Zawadski.

Zawadski said since it started, his phone has been ringing two-to-three times a minute as call recipients dial him back.

"I started getting messages saying 'Who are you?' and 'Why are you calling me?'" said Zawadski. "It's an annoyance to me. It makes my phone useless, essentially."

Police said con artists and telemarketers like to spoof phone numbers, usually from the area code they are calling, because it helps them to disguise who they are and increases their chances of getting their calls answered.

While it is illegal to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information for malicious reasons, authorities said it is difficult to catch the people who do it.

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