New telemarketer dirty trick — impersonating teachers, calling parents during the school day

What the Caller ID looks like -- with the number blacked out (Courtesy Margaret Sullivan)
What the Caller ID looks like — with the number blacked out (Courtesy Margaret Sullivan)

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 The website, 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.?

Read the rest of this story here, at

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About Bob Sullivan 1638 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.

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