Phone Scammers Target Middle Tennessee Woman

Posted at 7:13 PM, Sep 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-10 13:15:08-04

 NASHVILLE, Tenn – A Middle Tennessee woman has refused to be a victim of a phone scam, but it’s placed her on the receiving end of hundreds of unwanted calls.

Answering the phone has almost become a full time job for Theresa Brown. “It’s very, very frustrating,” she said.

Yet, it's not a job she ever wanted. “They harass you constantly. They don't care they call you back time and time again,” she said.

She believed scammers have her phone ringing off the hook. She said her home phone log showed up to 100 calls within about a week from people claiming her husband applied for a loan. She said he never applied for it, and the conversations usually go like this:

“He qualified for a $5,000 loan, and you have to send him $256 (on an unregistered pre-paid debit card),” she said.

She kept track of the 14 different numbers that rotate the calls. Four of those calls came in Wednesday morning during a single trip to the grocery store.

“They called at 9:18, 10:14, 10:27 and 10:40,” she said, “thank God I wasn't home.”

When her phone just wouldn't stop ringing off the hook Theresa went to the police. They told her to go to the FTC. But because the scammers weren't trying to sell her anything, the FTC told NewsChannel 5 this was actually an issue for the FCC. The FTC did have a few options in case this happens to you:

-Don't respond to any calls you don't know and if you're asked for information don't give it to them.
-File an FCC complaint.
-And contact your phone company about blocking or tracking the number.

However, for Theresa, the advice was not very helpful. “There’s too many numbers to have blocked,” she said.

In an area with limited cell service, her landline is her connection to a husband who spends time on the road. And without much recourse she's considering big changes to make the ringing stop.

“I’m getting my number changed, I want to move. I mean this guy knows my address,” she said.

The FCC is behind a recent push to encourage phone companies to use technology to block unwanted calls. It is also hosting a workshop next week to help address illegal caller ID spoofing.