HOUSTON - At Masters Auto Center, the calls have been coming in fast and furious.
They’re from Florida, Tennessee, the San Antonio area, Ohio, and South Carolina.
But the callers aren’t customers trying to schedule a tune-up. They’re people who’ve received calls from a telemarketer.
The number showing up other caller ID is the auto shop phone’s number, and angry robocall recipients are calling the number back, with many leaving voicemail messages.
Owner Nick Robin said it’s been fairly impossible for his real customers to contact the business.
“Today is pretty much a loss,” Robin said. “Tomorrow is going to be a loss. It’s going to hurt us bad.”
Falsifying caller ID information is known as “spoofing,” and in most cases, it is illegal.
Last month, a Miami-based telemarketer was fined $120 million for spoofing phone numbers. To help stop spoofers, you can download apps such as “Nomorobo,” which identifies and then blocks fraudulent phone numbers.
Nomorobo has flagged the number for Masters Auto Center as being a health insurance scam.
While calls to the auto repair shop are slowing down, Robin worries about the future.
“Is this going to happen again?” he said. “Is this happening to other people?”
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