When a scammer calls you, he can make the number that shows up on your caller ID be the real number of an organization his pretending to represent. It's happening right now in Albany.
Albany Water Gas and Light customers are being targeted by scammers. WG&L Senior Investigator David Atkins said, "We've got several calls today from businesses that are calling saying someone is calling them saying they represent WG&L and that there services are about to be turned off unless they make sometimes a $2,000 payment they are asking for."
Charlie's Paint and Body shop got one of those calls. They didn't fall for the scam but very well could have, especially with one of the tactics the con artist is using.
"The bad thing is we have had a couple of customers call in and say that on the caller ID, it's actually coming up with our phone number 883-8330, which is our main trunk line," Atkins said. "With technology today, they are spoofing our number."
That's easier than you might think. A quick Google search brings up multiple web sites that make it simple for you to call someone and make whatever number you choose show up on their caller ID. The sites even allow you to alter your voice.
Tammy Fletcher is a computer technician at Geeks computer store. She knows scammers stay on top of the latest technology to prey on innocent victims. "Unfortunately, honesty is not one of the things the scammers are concerned with, and people need to be careful and check their facts, check where the people are coming," she said.
It's difficult to track down phone scammers, but Dougherty County Sheriff's Captain Craig Dodd says if they are caught, they'll be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. "It's basically a computer con, and you can get anywhere from 1 to 10 years in prison for it, under the current statues," Dodd said.
Water Gas and Light just wants to remind customers of one thing. Atkins said, "We at WG&L do not call to request you make a payment to us and never the way this is going on."
If you get a call from someone you think is a scammer, call police and whatever organization they claim to represent.