A robocall gives a mother the fear of her life

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BISHOP, CA (KOLO) The woman staring at you out of the video posted on Youtube is fighting to control herself as she prepares to unload.

"I'm so angry."

She has every right to be.

Jacki Kruse is an Army mom. Her son, Corporal Tanner Kruse, is in the 82nd Airborne, deployed to Afghanistan.

It's his first deployment in harm's way and it has his large family back home in Bishop on edge, rightly concerned for his safety.

Most of us go about our daily lives, taking little notice of news reports from that far off conflict. For those families whose loved ones are deployed there every news item about an attack or suicide bombing sets off alarms.

That's why families gets reassuring calls from the Army following those incidents. Tanner's family has received two such calls during his time there. He's been OK. His unit has suffered casualties.

The other day the phone rang again. Caller ID said it was from an Army base, not his, but one in her area code. At the moment that detail didn't matter.

"My heart sinks and I'm not wanting to answer the phone. And I'm shaking and I'm scared, but I have to answer because I need to know if my son's OK or if they're giving me the worst news of my life. So I answer that call and it's a damn telemarketer telling me that it's my last chance to lower the interest rate on my credit card."

We all get these calls. The standard advice is not to answer those from numbers we don't recognize. Let it go to voice mail. You can screen it there.

That became harder as the scammers began spoofing phone numbers from our area. And that, says Tim Johnston of the Better Business Bureau, is the plan.. "Making it seem that you're getting a call from someone you know or trust to get you to pick up and hopefully answer."

This tactic was particularly effective in her case and cruel.

Worse yet, says Johnston, it's unlikely it was coincidence the scammers picked an Army base phone number to spoof when calling her.

"Just because of how specific it was it'smore or less is likely she was targeted by a scam artist. Scammers will spend the time to profile a potential target and then use that information."

For Jacki Kruse, fear has given way to anger. "If they try to call back again I'm going to give them a piece of my mind."

Understandable, but that's probably not a great idea, says Johnston.

It would only confirm that they'd reached a real live person on the other end of that call and that could lead to even more robocalls.

The best we can do at this point is be cautious with our information on line--that's where they find this information to profile us-- ignore the calls we get and press those in government to search even harder to find ways to keep this from happening.