A WAGGA small business owner swept up in a mobile phone hate campaign has revealed the personal and financial toll it has taken.
Doug Pinnock, 33, claims to have fallen victim to a new phone app called Mask My Number, which allows users to change their caller ID to any number they wish.
Last weekend, a host of his business contacts were subjected to verbal attacks from a caller claiming to be Mr Pinnock and with a phone number that matched his.
Mr Pinnock, who runs a property maintenance business, is in the process of changing all his work uniforms, stationary and signs to remove the number.
He has also provided the name of a man he suspects is behind the attacks to police and has vowed to pursue legal action.
“It was shocking: people were getting calls from my number and I didn’t even make any calls that night,” Mr Pinnock said.
“I fielded calls on Sunday morning from contacts saying ‘how dare you contact me at 5am’.
“Someone has taken a personal vendetta against me and it’s defaming me and my business.”
He called for the fake caller ID apps to be outlawed.
“Anyone can pretend their calling from your number and say anything to anyone,” he said.
“It’s dangerous and it’s scary.”
He said the incident had he and his family living in fear.
“We're worried he may have called some bad people and said God knows what pretending to be me,” Mr Pinnock said.
Mr Pinnock was the organiser of the Wagga Massive Metal Milisha FMX Flood Relief Show in 2012 and said the vendetta likely stemmed back to a dispute after the event.
Mask My Number markets itself as a “spoof app” that provides users with “endless fun”.
“We also allow you to mask your voice to sound like a man of a woman,” the app's founder claims on its website.
“When you see the app, callers will see the phone number you entered when placing the call.
“If the phone number you choose is in their phone, it will show up with their name and even a picture of them.
“Fake your caller ID with our app for endless fun.”
Using a fake caller ID is not illegal in Australia.