NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Barbara Ball says the majority of calls she gets on her home phone are usually telemarketers or scams.
That’s why Barbara Ball was skeptical when she got a phone call last Monday.
“This one left a message,” Ball said. “It was a woman in Maryland.”
It was a scam, but it involved Ball’s personal information.
“She would have to pay $250 or she would have no access to her Microsoft products,” Ball was told by the caller.
The woman who called said she was contacted by someone using Ball’s name and phone number.
The scammer called the woman six times demanding money for tech support from Microsoft.
“The idea that my name and phone number would be used to try to scam people was disconcerting,” Ball said.
“That just makes me angry.”
The Better Business Bureau says scammers use voiceover IP and apps to spoof phone numbers from the IRS to law enforcement to private citizens.
“They can create phone numbers that look like they belong to your number or they belong to a business in your community,” Ball said.
Ball’s name and number were used in what the BBB calls a “tech support scam.”
The scam makes up five percent of their consumer complaints.
“They’re going to use company names like Microsoft, Amazon, Apple,” said Robyn Householder, president, and CEO of the BBB of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.
Ball is now sharing her story.
She put up a post on Next Door, warning her neighbors.
“It does make me angry they can apparently get away with this,” Ball said.
Householder says if this happens to you, file a complaint with the BBB, the phone company, and report it to police.