By Ashley Hopkins, Nooga.com
The Tennessee Regulatory Authority warns consumers that telemarketers can manipulate what number appears on a caller ID to make someone more likely to answer the phone.
Previously, unrecognizable phone numbers on a caller ID were unlikely to be answered, and the recipient of the call didn't have to worry that they were missing important information. But with today's technology, robocallers can alter phone numbers on a caller ID display to make it seem like the call is local and potentially important.
"If a consumer thinks that the call is coming from a neighbor or a friend across town, they are more likely to answer the call than if the caller ID displays a message that reads 'out of area' or a string of zeros," TRA Chairman Herb Hilliard said in a prepared statement.
According to the TRA, a computer program can be designed and written to manipulate the data that is transferred during a phone call. And there is no such program that can recognize the number as being spoofed, so the reliability of caller ID is not as it once was.
Hilliard advises consumers to hang up immediately if a phone call turns out to be a robocall.
"Do not press any buttons if prompted, and do not attempt to call the number back," Hilliard said. "Unfortunately, gone are the days that we can trust caller ID to identify numbers that we are familiar with."
If you have been robocalled and want to file a consumer complaint with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, call 800-342-8359 or click here