2022 | What is Caller ID Spoofing & How to Stop It

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Caller id spoofing could cause devastating results and the number of victims is growing. Not only personal users like me and you will be cheated, but also companies would receive spoofing attacks.
If you don’t know much about caller id spoofing, you’ve come to the right place.
This post covers almost everything about spoofing. From how to identify a spoofing call to how to prevent spoofed phone calls. Read on for more details.

What’s caller id spoofing

Spoofing or caller id spoofing is a scammer who uses a fake caller ID to mask the source of an incoming call and intentionally transmit it to your phone. Scammers often use neighbor spoofing. By disguising their identity to a trusted contact or organization in your area, the caller attempts to increase the chances of people picking up and falling for their cons.
Typical caller id spoofing goals include stealing your money or valuable sensitive personal information, which can be used in fraudulent activity.

Reference: Caller ID Spoofing – FCC

How to recognize caller id spoofing

The best way to avoid spoofing calls is don’t answer unknown phone calls. But when a scammer disguises their caller id to a trustable organization, we won’t know before picking up. So how to tell if it’s a legitimate or spoofing call?

  • Be skeptical with pushy or demanding voice.
    Scammers often make matters appear urgent, they want you be panic and stop thinking, so that you’ll follow their leads.
  • Don’t tell anyone your personal information online.
    If the person ask you for sensitive personal information, hang up. They might claims to represent a government or financial agency, don’t trust them. Legitimate businesses and government agencies avoid doing so because of the potential for abuse.
  • Search the phone number with reverse phone number lookup tools.
    You can do this online in a few munites. Just enter the phone number in the below search box and wait for the report. It will uncover the name of the owner and where the number originates.

If the reverse phone search doesn’t return any results, that could be a sign you’re dealing with a spoofed call.

  • Don’t trust the caller.  
    Scammers often pretent they’re an officer or a representative of an organization. If you receive a call from an organization, you can google its phone number online to check its authenticity. Or hang up and google the organization’s contact. Then call the number on the official website page to verify the caller.
  • Don’t hit any buttons. If the caller asks you to, hang up immediately. 
  • Trust your gut.
    If you feel something wrong about the caller, hang up. Trust yourself.

How to unmask spoofed caller id

Unfortunately, caller id spoofing tends to be untraceable. Spoofing calls disguise their original sources, you won’t see their real phone number directly which makes tracing harder. We don’t recommend you to trace a spoofed phone call, it’s a time-consuming process. You may focus on how to report a caller id spoofing and how to prevent spoofing phone calls.

But if you don’t mind spending some time tracing a spoofed caller id or you’re interested in the process, here’s how:

1) Contact your phone carrier to check your phone usage log.
Mobile and landline phone companies track every incoming and outgoing call to your phone. In some cases, the spoofing calls are unmasked in these logs.

2) Use a reverse phone lookup to trace down the phone number. Type the phone number into the search bar, then click Search.

3) Wait for BeenVerified to generate the report. The report may contain the name of the person or company behind the phone number.
If the reverse phone search doesn’t return any results, that could be a sign you’re dealing with a robocall.

BeenVerified now provides a limited 7-day trial for $1.

How to stop caller id spoofing

Thanks to the fast-developing technology, there are ways to block caller id spoofing.

  • Contact phone carrier for call blocking tools or service
    Phone carrier like AT&T and Verizon provide spam screening or fraud warnings that help identify suspicious phone calls. But they may cost you some money.
  • Use third-party service
    You can use a paid subscription service to stop masked numbers. For example: TrapCall. It’s an app available for both iOS and Android phones that can unmask a maksed number and and yassociated caller ID information.

How to report a caller id spoofing

The truth is, you can barely protect your phone number from getting spoofed. The victim’s numbers are usually selected at random, so you’re not specifically targeted, everyone got the chance to receive a spoofing call. That makes reporting a caller id spoofing important. You can help decline the number of perpetrators.

If you believe you’re a victim of caller id spoofing, you can file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

By the way, not every spoofing is illegal. According to Congress, caller id spoofing “with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value” is considered illegal.

How to prevent spoofed phone calls

Protecting our personal information would prevent receiving caller id spoofing. In addition, you need to follow some vital rules to protect yourself.

  • Don’t pick up calls from unknown numbers.
    If you do, hang up immediately. 
  • Set a password for voice mail account if you have one.
    Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A scammer could hack into your voicemail and gain access to your voice mail if it is not properly secured with a password.
  • Stay alert while receiving random calls and emails.

Reference: Caller ID Spoofing – FCC

By Iris Zheng

Iris is a writer who covers almost everything from beauty to technology, fitness, home decoration and etc. No matter what she wrote, she always brings true and useful information for readers.

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