ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH)—An auto shop received more than 800 phone calls in two days after its phone number was used for a spoofing scam, and state police said other spoofing calls have recently been reported in southern Indiana.
Spoofing, a technique often used by scammers, is when a caller hides their own phone number and gets someone else’s number to show up on caller IDs.
Jeff Parker, owner of T and J Tire in Anderson, said he’s received more than 1,000 phone calls over the past week.
He said it all started on Thursday, when someone called asking if he’d like to buy some insurance.
Parker said “no thanks,” and then he said the calls started rolling in.
People called from across the country saying they got a call from his auto shop. Some asked why Parker called them, some told him they don’t want to buy insurance.
He eventually stopped picking up calls from non-local numbers.
“We started having to explain to people our phone was hacked,” Parker said. “I lost sleep over the weekend worrying about this. That, come Monday morning, it’s going to start over.”
Parker came back Monday and, sure enough, the phone kept ringing.
He said the calls have tapered off since last week, however, and he’s now getting less than ten a day.
“I was worried some of the calls I was ignoring might have been legitimate customers,” he said.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin said there is no way for Parker or other business owners to prevent someone from spoofing their number.
Goodin said police are investigating a string of other calls in the Scott County area.
According to police, numerous people received calls from someone saying they’re with Duke Energy. The caller is asking for credit card information and threatening to shut off the customer’s power.
Police advise anyone suspicious of a Duke Energy phone call to hang up the phone, look up the company’s number, and call them back to check on your account.