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Mission Woman Nearly Falls Victim to Caller ID Spoofing

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MISSION – Like anyone else, Judy Orme loves a good deal.

But on Thursday morning, she received an offer that seemed too good to be true.

“I got a call on my mobile, it showed it was DirecTV calling,” she said.

The supposed DirecTV employee offered her a two-year, no contract deal. She would get all the specialty channels for free, plus a $100 Amazon gift card. She'd only have to pay $39.99 a month. That's cheaper than her current plan without the extras.

The catch was she'd have to pay eight months up front. The caller wanted the money on a pre-paid Amazon gift card. That's what made Orme skeptical.

“I took down the information and acted like I was going to go through with it,” Orme said. “Then I called DirecTV from my phone direct on the regular number and talked to a guy there, and he said no, they have no connection with anything to do with paying with Amazon, no sort of specials like that.”

Orme discovered she was a victim of caller ID spoofing. That's where someone uses an app to place a call posing as another number.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reported earlier this year how it happened to another Valley man. He ended up paying the money before realizing it was fake.

Experts say caller ID spoofing is becoming a common tactic for criminals.

“The number one advice I can give is if you're not sure, and people are asking for personal information, it's always best to hang up and call the number back,” said Ray Mendoza, a former FBI computer specialist.

That's what exactly what Orme did.

“If they say pay with a pre-paid gift card, it doesn't matter who it is, it's fraud,” she said.

She wants to warn others not to ignore any red flags, no matter how good the deal sounds.

Links: Telecommunications Fraud Protection & Prevention from AT&T

Internet Crime Complaint Center

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