We have this same phone number for 20+ years, so changing the number was not an option. We could only react to the situation, and the simplest way to deal with the flood of calls was to create an auto-answer that tries to explain the situation to callers. I believe it has costed the company some valid customers, judging by emails received from very concerned people.
How does the spoofing work? Good question. Without having access to the scammers? phone system, I can guess that they are using an automated VOIP system which allows them to register the spoofed phone number. That way recipients of calls will see the spoofed phone number on their Caller ID. And VOIP allows them to make calls for very cheap through the internet, and makes it very difficult to track down. In some ways phone spoofing works the same way as with emails where one can easily spoof the From name and email address.
Exactly what the scammer?s MO is is still unclear. For some reason their automated system phones random numbers (or is trying all possible numbers in a given area). Perhaps it is just to record which phone numbers are answered and is therefore considered live. This is repeated many times per day to the irk of anyone on the receiving end. (We even had a ?top secret government department? with an unlisted number return a call to us, which is why I believe the scammers is trying all possible numbers). The scammers will then manually phone live numbers and try to swindle people out of money.
One of the callers said he has received a death threat. That has elevated the case into a completely new and very serious category, way above a mere money scam.
It is now several weeks later and the number of returned calls are back to normal. Either the police did something about it, or the scammers moved on to another number.
I?m a Toronto journalist seeking more information on people making these calls/ claiming to represent this company. Can anyone who has had contact with them send me an email at email@example.com
Thank you, Emily Mathieu
I didn't actually answer the phone. I usually don't if I don't recognize the number. However...they left a message! Actually, they left a death threat, which is now being looked at by the Toronto Police. Did anyone else who didn't answer the call also receive a threat? Or did anyone who DID answer the phone get threatened?
I have received a few calls from this number. On the rare occasion that I pick up a number that I don't know, I have been told it is Community Drug Awareness....however, before I can tell them that I'm not interested, I am disconnected.
The number continues to call into my home about two or three times a day.
No, I was wrong. It seems that less people returned calls over the last few days. Our count is way up again today. The scam is still in full swing.
According to some of the victims that have been talking to the scammers, they pose as Drew and Kile. Drew wants your credit card number, while Kile tries to "sell" you the Community Drug Awareness Magazine (which will be published sometime in the future), and "will send you an information package and your receipt in 5-7 days".
According to our incoming call count, the scammers may have moved on to a new spoofed number sometime over the weekend. I believe they may be using 1-866-740-7999 now (the number of the "Community Drug Awareness Magazine". However, if you phone that number, you get an auto-answer only.
* Our usual number of incoming calls per day are between 20 and 50.
* During the scam our incoming calls peaked at 777 calls per day. (Remember, this number only reflects people that returned calls. There may be hundreds or thousands more that did not return calls.)
Callers informed us that PhoneBuster's phone reporting procedure is very complicated, plus it only works during office hours.
Here is an alternative method to report the scam: Email a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to quote the phone number (905-835-2546) and the file number (690155) in your email.
BTW, PhoneBuster's new name is Anti Fraud Centre. You can access it with a browser at antifraudcentre.ca. However, the old phonebusters.com URL is still working.
I am from OM Canada, Port Colborne, Ontario. Our office number is 905-835-2546.
As from yesterday we are flooded with random people calling after they saw our number on their caller ID. We suspect a scam.
Today someone said she got the call again, and learned it is someone from "Community Drug Awareness". That was all she could find out.
Hanging around this site, I noticed many other similar reports, also for "Community Drug Awareness".
We reported the scam at PhoneBusters. If you got a similar call, please report it to 1-888-495-8501 and quote file no. 690155.