Several area residents have noticed an increase in the number of telemarketing calls they are receiving on their cell phones.  In some instances, they’re even showing on the caller ID as 269 numbers.

Kate Stutheit, of Stutheit Implement said, “A Syracuse resident called me the other day and said that her caller id said Stutheit Impl. and it was our number and it was a telemarketer. I was told that this is "number hijacking" but nothing can be done until some program is established.  People need to contact their phone company and report fraud.”

Syracuse Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carolyn Gigstad noted that she receives these calls frequently and has heard the same thing from others.

According to the Nebraska Attorney General this happens through “caller ID spoofing.”  That means that the caller is faking the caller ID information that you see on your phone.  In some cases, the fraudulent telemarketer may want you to think the call is from someone you know, someone local, from your bank, or from another entity with which you do business.

The Attorney General’s website further states, “Scammers often use telephone, mail, and email solicitation to lure people into their schemes, often by posing as legitimate businesses who contact a consumer out of the blue. One of the best ways to protect yourself against fraudsters is to cut off the ability of businesses to call you or send you unsolicited mail in the first place. Recognize the warning signs of scams and fraud, and cut down on unwanted phone calls and email by joining the Do Not Call Registry.

Though it won’t always cut down on the caller ID spoofing, it should limit some calls.  You may add your phone number by visiting www.donotcall.gov, or calling 1-888-382-1222.