How Scammers Are Using Caller ID Technology

Phone displaying Caller ID

Caller ID technology which provides the name of a caller to the recipient, has now opened up a huge fraud business worldwide using caller ID manipulation and spoofing means. Current caller ID technology offers features such as an option to block outgoing identification if you desire privacy while making a call.  It should be noted that outbound caller ID options apply only to non-toll numbers.  If you call a toll-free number, it matters not whether you have blocked your identity; it will still be displayed.  Android and iOS smartphones can block numbers that are potential or confirmed to be fraudulent.  Cellular carriers generally offer these same options for a fee. As a result of these capabilities, everyone has been conditioned to believe that what displays on their phone as the identity of the caller must be accurate.

This is far from the truth, as worldwide scammers are now using manipulation and spoofing technology to appear to be whoever they want to be, from any location. According to this Forbes article, scammers using spoofing technology can now select a targeted area code to appear from, regardless of whether they are located halfway across the world. It simply requires a phone number to generate a false calling party name and the right spoofing technology.

Below are a few guidelines to protect yourself from spoofed calls:

  • It is important to understand that while most caller ID technology is legitimate, many calls are from telemarketers or scammers. Therefore, do not automatically rely on the fact that a specific number or name is displayed, to identify a valid caller;
  • When answering a call, unless you know the caller, do not provide personal identifying information;
  • If ever in doubt about the authenticity of a caller, especially a government agency or financial institution, call their customer service number listed on the correspondence you regularly receive;
  • Be sure to set a password on your voicemail account as they can also be hacked;
  •  There are many scammers who now disguise themselves as technical support from Microsoft and Apple and want access to your computer for “fixing’. These fraudulent calls can lead to the installation of ransomware which will lock your computer files unless you pay a ransom;
  • If you have any suspicion about the legitimacy of a caller, it is safer to be cautious and disconnect the call.

Security in many areas is a fast-growing concern.  If you have worries about the security of your organization’s computer network, including training to help your employees identify potential cyber attacks, you can get details about what BSC Solutions Group has to offer HERE. 

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