Tired of answering phone calls from fake numbers? For most people, receiving fake calls usually happens like this— The phone rings and your caller ID shows a local number. You answer the phone, but the voice on the other end of the line seems to be coming from a global call center, but you don’t know how to tell if a phone number is real or how to validate where it came from.
On the other hand, maybe you answer a call from a telemarketer who used a spoofed phone number imitating a respected phone number (such as Apple, Microsoft, etc.). Instead of answering calls from fake numbers, this is how you can tell if the phone number calling you is real.
How to Tell If a Phone Number is Real
Scammers, spammers, and telemarketers know how to work the system. While the laws are changing to prevent the use of spoofed phone numbers for telemarketing and overseas calls, conquering fake calls is a work in progress. Here are some ways on how to tell if a phone number is real.
1. Add All Your Contacts to Your Contact List.
By adding contacts to your phone’s address book or contact list, you’ll be better able to determine whether a call is from a number you know and trust. Add phone numbers for friends, family members, and even business contacts. While their numbers can still be spoofed, it will provide you much more confidence when you pick up the phone.
2. Update Your Phone Settings.
Use your phone’s settings to restrict incoming phone call rings to people you know. This will send unidentified callers to your voicemail or reject the calls.
Use this technique to silence unknown callers on your Apple iPhone.
Settings> Phone> Silence Unknown Callers
Download an app to detect and block spam phone calls.
Then go to Settings> Phone> Blocking & Identification
Use this technique to block unknown callers on your Android phone.
Phone Icon> Hit the Three Dots on Top Right of Phone App Screen> Settings> Block Unknown Numbers (Turn This On)
3. Search Using the Phone Number.
Who is calling you? If you want to find out, a reverse search on Social Catfish can give you the name of the real person who just called you. Search the phone number that called and see if the name behind the number matches the person you thought called you.
4. Beware of VOIP Phone Numbers.
Catfish use call forwarding, TextNow, and Google Voice to hide their identity, their true location, or actual phone number. Beware of Google Voice Or TextNow calls, as real people usually won’t use Google Voice, TextNow, or computer phones as their only phone number.
5. You are Pressured for Information.
Callers using fake phone numbers often call and want information. The caller might try and pressure you into paying for something by phone or giving them personal information. Make sure that you don’t give out your financial or personal data to anyone you don’t know, by phone, particularly to unsolicited callers.
How Big of a Problem are Fake Numbers?
You probably already know that fake numbers are a problem and you may receive spam or spoofed calls on a regular basis. You are not alone in receiving these types of phone calls. These occur when a scammer or spammer uses software to change their phone number to a mock or fake number. File a complaint with the FCC if you think you’ve received a spoofed or scam call.
Why Would Someone Use a Fake Number?
Telemarketers want you to pick up the phone. They know that you’re probably screening calls from 800 numbers and are more likely to pick up local calls. Their system might allow them to switch to the area code of anyone they call. Other fake calls are from scam artists who want you to pay for services that don’t exist. Catfish use fake numbers to hide their real identity.
Once you’ve taken advantage of your phone’s settings and added known callers to your contact list, the number of fake calls that ring through will be a lot less. Third-party apps also exist but the best thing to do is to reverse search phone numbers that you are unsure about.
How to Tell if a Phone Number is Real Using Social Catfish
Social Catfish will allow you to reverse search by name, email address, phone number, username, or image. If you have several of those items, your search will be even easier. Find out the truth, with the best reverse search on the market!