The Port Washington-based sweepstakes company Publishers Clearing House -- known as PCH -- says more and more sophisticated telephone con games are being played nationwide using fake caller-ID scams.
PCH is lobbying hard with the Federal Trade Commission, asking for new regulations and an investigation into websites that offer fake caller-ID services. Such services allow caller-ID scammers to call people, especially the elderly, and tell them they've won a big cash prize -- but they must first wire cash to pay for taxes or processing fees.
Publishers Clearing House attorney Christopher Irving in January urged the FTC to regulate such sites.
“We note that a current online search brings up a large number of sites offering the visitor the ability to create a completely new Caller ID of your choosing,” Irving said in a written statement to the FTC.
“Recently, Publishers Clearing House has received an increase of reports from consumers stating scam artists are calling their homes and falsifying the information that appears on their Caller ID.”