St. Louis woman falls victim to spoofed student loan scam, gets -

St. Louis woman falls victim to spoofed student loan scam, gets 150 calls a day

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Kate. Credit: KMOV Kate. Credit: KMOV

Phones across St. Louis are ringing with an offer to consolidate student loan debt. The people behind the offer are using what's known as spoofing technology to display someone else's phone number on caller ID when making those calls.

In the latest case, the phone number being used belongs to a 29-year-old woman named Kate living in Maryland Heights.

On Monday Kate estimated 150 people called her cell phone about the offer.

She told Investigative Reporter Chris Nagus, "I had no idea what they were talking about." 

After she received more than 100 calls, Kate turned off her phone and changed her voicemail. 

She issued a warning to callers and encouraged them not to provide any personal information to anyone offering to consolidate student loan debt. 

According to the Federal Communications Commission spoofed calls can be legal or illegal depending on the circumstances. 

Under the Truth in Caller ID ACT, FCC rules prohibit any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value. If no harm is intended or caused spoofing is not illegal. Anyone who is illegally spoofing can face penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation. In some cases, spoofing can be permitted by courts for people who have legitimate reasons to hide their information, such as law enforcement agencies working on cases, victims of domestic abuse or doctors who wish to discuss private medical matters. 

Kate from Maryland Heights wants to make it clear she's not initiating any calls. 

She's concerned because some of the people calling her "were saying I want to talk to you about the program. Some people seemed like they were interested." 

If your number has been spoofed you can file a complaint with the FCC. 

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