It's a random crime that is tough to solve and a Valley business has become the latest target.
It's called caller ID spoofing.
Designed in Ink owner Jason Brockway had never heard of it before, until he started receiving hundreds of angry calls from people accusing Brockway of calling them during all hours of the day.
"We had no idea what they were talking about," Brockway said.
The graphics design company in North Phoenix had become the latest victim of a telemarketing scam growing in popularity.
Here's how it works: A telemarketer will make hundreds even thousands of calls to potential customers, yet they will disguise themselves by using another business number that they've stolen, to pop-up on caller ID.
Brockway said that every time the telemarketer called to harass someone, Brockway's business name and phone number would show up on their caller ID. They would then pick up the phone and call Brockway to complain.
"We don't have the manpower to physically be answering all of these phone calls," Brockway said. "We do have our own demand so once the other phone calls are coming in that aren't for us, it's difficult to get our own work done."
And tracking down the shady telemarketers is extremely difficult, Brockway said.
Brockway said he contacted the Phoenix Police Department, but was told there was little they could do.
He now plans to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, which does crackdown on spoofers and recently fined telemarketers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"It's frustrating that we can't prevent who is making the phone calls and tell them to stop using our phone number," Brockway said. "We're trying to spread the word and make sure other businesses know that it is a possibility and that it could happen to them."
According to the FCC, spoofing is illegal under the truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 if the call is made to defraud someone.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of Caller ID spoofing, you should file a complaint with the FCC.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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