Caller ID isn’t always what it appears, and increasingly, criminal telemarketers are taking advantage of that. Aggressive phone sales operators have pretended to be the IRS, and they’ve pretended to be charities, but apparently they’ve developed a new tactic recently — impersonating teachers, calling parents at home during the school day.
A flurry of calls starting last week arrived at consumers’ homes with “Teachers Phone” shown in the Caller ID displays. But those who answer don’t hear about a sick or misbehaving child, recipients say.
“It was a prerecorded message from ‘credit card services,’” wrote one victim on a telemarketing calls complaints page.
“There was a prerecorded female voice claiming to be from my credit card company saying that there was a limited-time offer to get a new credit card with a 6.9% APR,” said another.
The calls come from a telephone number that is allegedly in Brooklyn, N.Y., though that number could also be spoofed. Calls placed to it produce only a busy signal.
There are two pages of complaints about the number on CallerCenter.com. The website Peopleyname.com, which permits reverse phone number lookups, indicates 155 consumers have searched for information about the number.
Margaret Sullivan — my sister — received the call on Friday. She said the timing was deliberate.
“How mean, to call a home shortly after (parents drop) kids off at school. Parents will panic and answer,” she said. “What parent wouldn’t immediately pick up, especially at 8:30 a.m.?