I was just about to drift off to sleep last night when the phone that was charging on the nightstand next to me rang. I looked at the number on the screen, because nobody answers the phone without knowing who is calling right? That's when I notice the caller was calling from a very familiar number. My phone's display said I was being called on my own phone.

Of course, I had to answer it and see what it was all about. I know I shouldn't have but this was uncharted territory for me and the chance to mess with a new phone scammer always gets my competitive juices flowing.

The robotic voice on the other end of the line suggested that my phone service had been suspended by my carrier and blah blah blah blah. That's when I hung up.

So, how did my own phone call me? It's called "spoofing" and it's a trick phone scammers use to make a phone call look as if it is coming from your local area so you're more likely to answer the phone.

Why doesn't the Do Not Call list apply in this situation? Well, these people are already breaking the law. I am pretty sure breaking one more isn't going to ruin their day. Besides many of the scammers are from foreign countries and tracking them down is a lot harder than us just not answering our phones.

The bottom line on this issue is simple. If you see a number you don't recognize or doesn't make sense, don't answer the phone. In many cases, scammers are just looking to find active phone numbers they can sell to other scammers. The end result is you'll wind up getting even more automated or scam calls.

There are some apps you can download to prevent this nonsense. Or, we could just contact our government officials and ask them to do something about the problem. Which they can but the FCC is so far up the backside of the large telecommunications companies that won't happen until we make it happen.

Meanwhile, you and I can continue to be annoyed by ne'er do wells who wish to do us financial harm. Thanks, Congress and thanks to you FCC, you guys are great examples of government inaction at its finest.

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