Scammers will go to great lengths in order to scam their victims out of hard-earned money. They will even pretend to be someone they aren’t just to trick more victims out of their cash. While most scammers will catfish their victims on dating apps or social media platforms, there are some scammers who will spoof their Caller ID. Scammers will pretend to be representatives of the most trusted businesses in the country and will spoof their caller IDs so that victims will hand over their information. This is why it is important to know the signs of Caller ID spoofing scams and how to avoid them.
How Does The Caller ID Spoofing Scam Work?
Most scammers change their Caller ID information when they create their own VoIP phone numbers. These VoIP providers usually give users a chance to change their Caller ID to their preferred phone number or name when they sign up.
However, scammers will use this to their advantage to pretend they are representing a business, charity, bank, government agency, or even a contest of their choice. They will spoof their Caller ID to match the phone number or name of the organization they are pretending to represent. This is to make the scam seem more real so that more victims will fall for it faster.
For example, a scammer could pretend to be a bank and call their victim saying their account has been hacked. They have the same phone number as the bank’s customer service line, so the victim believes it’s the actual bank calling them. The scammer asks for their account information and the victim gives it to them, thinking that they are getting help for their hacked bank account. The scammer then gains access to the victim’s bank account and hangs up on their victim since they got what they wanted.
Is Spoofing a Caller ID Illegal?
According to the Truth in Caller ID Act by the FCC, it prohibits anyone from spoofing their Caller ID to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value. If someone spoofs their Caller ID with no wrongful intentions, then it is not illegal. However, if someone is spoofing their Caller ID to scam other people, then it is illegal.
Anyone who is caught spoofing their Caller ID for wrongful intentions can be fined up to $10,000 for each violation of this rule. There have also been cases where law enforcement agencies or victims of domestic abuse have been given permission by courts to hide their information since they had legitimate reasons to.
How to Tell if a Caller ID is Spoofed?
If someone on the other line is asking for personal information or financial information of any kind, then they are most likely a scammer. A sales representative will not ask you for your social security number or other sensitive information, but scammers will. They will also ask you a ton of “yes” or “no” questions, which can be used to commit identity fraud using your voice through voice cloning. They will also pressure you for this information, and won’t stop pestering you until they get it.
If you are unsure as to whether or not a call is a scam, you can always hang up the phone and call the company’s official number back. This way, you can ask them if anyone tried to call you. If they say yes, then you know it was the actual company trying to reach out to you. If not, then you know it was a scammer.
How to Avoid Caller ID Spoofing Scams
- Don’t give out personal, financial, or account information to someone over the phone.
- Hang up on the phone call and call the organization or company back on their official customer service line.
- Look up your information online to see if anything suspicious is happening before believing what the caller is telling you.
- If you are pressured to give out any information you’re uncomfortable about giving, hang up immediately.
- Make sure to set a password for your voicemail inbox, just in case a scammer tries to spoof your phone number and access your voicemail inbox.
- Report any scam you have been a part of to the FTC so they can help you.
- Report any spoofing scam to the FCC.
- Report any spoofing call to the business that the scammer was pretending to be through their official phone number.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with after reading about Caller ID spoofing scams.