Green Country family warns of "spoofing" dangers


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Updated: 2/11/2013 9:25 am Published: 2/08/2013 7:09 pm


A Locust Grove family wants all of Green Country to know about a cruel and unusual form of pranking their teenage daughter and granddaughter recently encountered.

“The main reason I called FOX23 was to get the message out,” Donna Coday said Friday.

Coday is mad that someone, somewhere played the cruelest of tricks on her granddaughter.
 
“I was shocked. I was angry.”

It appears her 15-year-old granddaughter got spoofed. If you’re not familiar with spoofing, know that neither was this family until earlier this week.

“I never had a clue that a text message could be sent to somebody and it looked like it had come from another person's phone, I had no idea that technology even existed,” the victim’s mother, Heather Collins, told FOX23.

Collins’ daughter got this message, “I'm sorry to tell you this now. It’s bad timing but I want you to know grandma bonnie isn't doing to(sic) well. We don't know is(sic) she is going to make it.”

The problem is, mom never sent that message.

“The way it was worded, it didn't look like something my daughter would send to her daughter which raised a level of suspicion,” Coday said.

And great Grandma Bonnie is not even sick.

“Grandma's fine; she's 90 years old, and she's fine,” Coday told FOX23.

Spoofing works by using a website or phone app that masks incoming calls or texts from the app or site as messages or phone calls from another number.

“I consider it a form of bullying because I feel she was violated, and it was being done on purpose to hurt her,” Collins said.

The Locust Grove family wants to alert parents of what could be the next trend in cyber bullying.

“I am very thankful that all of us learned about something none of us had any idea about and that's these apps and these websites

The family alerted their wireless provider, AT&T, about the issue.

“They were very concerned as well, and they tried very hard to help me. They did everything they could to try and figure out at the time it happened where the data came from,” Collins said.

FOX23 called AT&T to see if there’s any way to block this sort of technology from sending messages to your phone. AT&T did not yet return our calls.

In the meantime, Grandma Donna has a message for cell phone users everywhere.

“If something just doesn't sound right, verify it.”

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