One of the most common ways cybercriminals commit a telecommunication scam is by falsifying their called ID identity on your phone. While the call appears to be from a number you trust to increase your chances of answering it, it’s a scammer calling your number. This very process is termed phone number spoofing or caller ID spoofing.
Though spoofing is illegal in the US, hackers use various tools and methods to fool the system and disguise their true identity. As a result, you may expose sensitive information, like your bank details to a scammer, assuming it’s an authoritative company calling you.
Keep reading to dive deep into phone number spoofing and how you can stop it in 2022.
What is Caller ID Spoofing?
Phone number or caller ID spoofing refers to displaying falsified information on caller ID to scam the user. Scammers use this technique to hide their true identity and make you believe that they belong to a relevant and trustable organization.
For instance, a cybercriminal may spoof caller ID to lead you to assume that you are sharing information with someone you trust. But in reality, it’s a scammer looking to get into your details and misuse them.
By using caller ID spoofing, scammers make you believe the caller is trustable and disguise their true identity, so it’s hard to track them later on. More often than not, scammers use neighbor spoofing to maximize their chance of fooling you. Neighbor spoofing displays a local contact on caller ID, so the user is likelier to trust it, considering it authoritative.
How to Tell If an Incoming Call is Spoofed?
- If you’re getting a call from an unknown number, the call may be spoofed. If you get a call from an unknown number whose company information you already stored in your phone, it should ring a warning bell. If you keep getting spam calls from an unknown number, block them. Here are the top signs that help you identify spoofed calls:
- The call is likely spoofed if you hear a recorded message asking you to press a specific button as you pick up a call. Scammers often use automated recorded playback features to get sensitive information from users.
- If someone pretends to be representing a firm and asks you for sensitive information like your credit card details, hang up the call immediately. Scammers frequently use this technique to access people's passwords or bank details.
How to Stop Someone From Spoofing My Number
Below are the most effective ways to stop scammers from spoofing your number:
- Never share your personal information, including your credit card details and account passwords. Even if the call seems legit, ensure it’s a trustable organization calling you, or don’t share the details.
- Another great way to prevent people from spoofing your number is by not sharing your phone number with everyone. Avoid sharing your phone number with unknown people, or your chances of getting spam calls and robocalls will increase.
- Please read the terms and conditions of a company carefully to have sufficient knowledge regarding their calling policy. More often than not, they lay down tips on protecting your privacy in their terms and conditions.
- Be careful with the links you open on your devices now and then. Malicious links may steal your contact information and eventually lead to scam calls.
- Don’t input your details on the giveaway and prize-winning websites right away. These sites generally sell users' data to hackers, increasing your vulnerability to being scammed.
Is Phone Spoofing Legitimate?
Phone spoofing is not legit and falls under scams, making it a cybercrime. However, it is legitimate in some cases, such as:
Law Enforcement Agencies
Law enforcement agencies, such as the Police, use phone spoofing to contact people secretly. As a rule of thumb, agencies like Police cannot access the required information from users without hiding their identities. Phone spoofing proves to be a good solution in such cases.
Healthcare centers and individuals are generally allowed to make spoofed calls to maintain the privacy of their clients. This way, they can adequately treat their customers while ensuring their privacy is not affected.
Various helplines around the US use spoof calling for maximum help from users. For instance, spoof calling is effective for helplines to help vulnerable people who won’t seek help openly.
It’s not uncommon for journalists to have a lot of sources available to provide their statements about a particular situation. But the sources usually don’t want to reveal their identity to the world. So, journalists are mostly allowed to use phone number spoofing so the identity of sources can remain hidden.
Switch to Community Phone to Avoid Number Spoofing
Community Phone is a modern-day landline provider that doesn’t require an internet or copper wire connection to enable landline communication. Instead, its landline service works off cell towers to take your phone system’s reliability to a new level. Its wireless landline allows for an easy and quick setup and locational flexibility.
How It Works
Here’s how Community Phone prevents your number from caller ID spoofing:
- With Community Phone’s spam call blocker, your calls won’t ring immediately.
- Instead, the caller will hear a recorded message asking them to press a particular button (such as 1) to proceed with the call.
- As most scam calls are robocalls, your phone won’t ring because the scammer’s phone system won’t automatically follow the instruction.
- When the instructions are not followed, Community Phone will disconnect the call and automatically block the number from reaching you.
Tips to Remember
While Community Phone automatically blocks most spam calls, here are some tips worth remembering:
- Avoid picking up calls from unknown contacts. If you answer unknown calls, scammers will take you as an active target and may share your number with their connections too. This way, your probability of getting spam calls will increase.
- Please don’t talk with suspicious callers, as they’re primarily scammers. Even if you pick up an unknown call, hang up immediately if you find the caller suspicious. Or, let the call go to voicemail if the call is from an unknown number.
- When on the phone, don’t share your personal information when on the phone, especially if the caller threatens or pushes you. Any legitimate organization calling you will not ask for your information over the phone, as they would already have it on file.
- Hang up if you’re asked to press a key to connect to a call.
Top Features of Community Phone
Here are some fantastic calling features from Community Phone:
- Call Routing – You can route calls to any individual or group you wish to. You can route a call in real time or set up conditions for automated call routing. Here are some fantastic calling features from Community Phone:
- Call Forwarding – this calling feature of Community Phone lets you forward an incoming call to a different number.
- Custom Dial Menu – using a custom dial menu, you can set up a custom recorded greeting to create an excellent professional impression, route calls, and answer FAQs.
- Voicemail-to-email – this feature automatically sends your voicemails to your email as audio attachments, so you can listen to them when free and respond to missed calls.
Phone scams have consistently increased after 2020. Americans lost an average of $342 per person on phone scams in 2021. So the best way to prevent falling prey to phone scams is to get a phone system that can protect you from unwanted calls.
Sign up for the Community Phone spam call-blocker when you get a new subscription with them or port your number. This feature ensures it keeps unwanted calls at bay, keeps your peace, and protects you.