By Christina Hager, WBZ-TVBy Christina Hager

WOBURN (CBS) — Some local businesses are concerned about new technology that allows people to make phone calls showing a fake caller ID number.

Woburn mother Cathy Murphy says she got three food deliveries in one night, and didn’t order any of it. Someone else did, plugging her number into a fake caller ID phone app. “I feel violated,” she says.

First it was $30 worth of Dominoes pizza, then $60 worth of Chinese food.

“The man was quite upset with me, but I told him I didn’t order it, and he told me he had our number on caller ID,” says Murphy.

Shortly after that, she got a third bogus delivery of cheese steaks and chicken fingers.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

“It’s costing me money. It’s costing me labor,” says the owner of My Brothers Place in Woburn.

“Something should be done. It’s dangerous out there. Someone could definitely get hurt by this,” says Murphy.

Consumer analysts have been warning about the dangers of phone spoofing apps for months. “The thing that’s wrong with caller ID spoofing is that you can create real havoc when you start impersonating other people,” said Carl Howe, of Yankee Group, when we asked him about the issue last May.

President Obama recently signed a law making it illegal to use fake caller ID apps, but only when they’re used to harm someone. There’s a similar proposal in the Massachusetts state legislature, but that version has not been passed.

Comments (16)
  1. Gumpy Fineburg says:

    and so what is the sociotal benefit of having such technology available??, i don’t get it…

  2. Julie the Jarhead says:

    If you don’t recognize the number, don’t answer the phone.

    1. ali b. says:

      oh julie, these are businesses, they can’t remember all their customers, dear. that’s allright, you’ll figure it out someday.

    2. ????? says:

      Did you even read this story?!

  3. Rob M. says:

    Good grief, “..create havoc..”? “..dangerous..”? 20 years ago, before caller ID, pizza places would ask for your phone number and call you back to confirm, what’s the big deal?

  4. Jimmy Freeze says:

    WHy are businesses complaining about this…”Businesses” invented it for their own use. I’ve been getting calls from businesses for years with deceptive caller ID’s. How does it feel when the shoe’s on the other foot.

    1. LK says:

      The local pizza place is a legitimate business owned by people who live in your town, whose kids go to your schools, who are accountable for their business practices. The scammer calls you’ve gotten are from boiler room operations in other states that use spoofing and robocalling to scam people and (temporarily) avoid prosecution. Apples and oranges.

  5. ? says:

    In our town, the pizza place calls you back to confirm that you did indeed place an order….

  6. mark says:

    That app should be illegal and be banned right away!

  7. brat says:

    This happened to my 14 year old son. Someone was making crank calls using his phone number. While riding with me in my car he got a call from an irate man threatening him. The man would not believe him when he said he didn’t make the call. I got on and told the guy about this app and he threatened me. As a result I had to report the threats to my phone carrier and assure the carrier it was not my son that was making these calls. He was with me and never used his phone. He attends school 33 miles from home and I need to be able to stay in contact with him. Thats why he has it.

  8. Mike says:

    Let the caller know you’re going to call the number back to confirm the order.

  9. jaygee says:

    Everyone agrees that such acts are terrible but one question must be asked. What kind of people sit around and come up with such moronic ideas and then actually take the time to create such havoc. Their lives must be so bloody empty when this type of juvenile behavior is all they have to do.

  10. Beeb says:

    How very depressing that people don’t have anything better to do.

  11. Cynic says:

    If a call back eliminates the problem why no just use call backs again? A few years ago there was a device that you could use to open everyones garage door. You just drove done the street and pushed the button in your car. The manufacturers found a way to eliminate that .; Maybe they’ll find a way to eliminate this.

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