Caller ID Spoofing

Caller ID Spoofing is what happens when a caller (oftentimes scammers) deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Their attempts are very clever, and oftentimes appear to be legitimate. This is because they use neighbor spoofing, which causes the incoming call to appear like it’s from a local number, even if it’s not. They can even spoof numbers from reputable companies, like your bank, doctors’ office, and government agencies.
Most people will answer these calls because they appear to be legitimate. Beware, these scammers will try to obtain your personal information (for fraudulent purpose) or try to steal your money.

Legitimate Caller or Spoofed Caller ID?

It’s easy to be targeted if you don’t know what to look out for. Some things that may appear to be legitimate can be laced with fraudulent schemes. You may engage with someone over the phone that sounds extremely convincing and professional, providing you with just enough information about yourself to lure you into divulging more information. That’s why it’s important to know how to protect yourself while on the phone. Here are a few tips to help decide whether you are on a legitimate phone call or if the caller ID is being spoofed:
• If you weren’t expecting the call, proceed with caution or hang up.
• If you don’t know the number, don’t answer. You can retrieve a voicemail later.
• Avoid answering questions with “yes” or “no” answers.
• Avoid giving out personal information like your account number, SSN, passwords, or answers to security questions.
• Proceed with caution if you are being pressured to disclose information.
• If you get a call from what appears to be a reputable company or government agency, hang up and call them back at a number that you can find on their website or on official documents, especially if they are requesting a payment.

Is spoofing illegal?

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In short? Sometimes. Spoofing is legal when it is used for legitimate purposes, like when a doctor calls their patient from their personal phone number and displays the office number rather than their personal phone number. Spoofing is illegal when callers transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent of fraud, to cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value. Fraudsters can face illegal spoofing penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation, under the Truth in Caller ID Act.
How to File a Complaint
If you feel like you are a victim of a spoofing scam, you can file a complaint with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

What else can I do to stay protected?

In a world where identity theft and fraud continue to grow, you are tasked with protecting your identity and your devices, which is an increasingly difficult task. Caller ID Spoofing is just one area where criminals can target you, but there are many more. That’s why IDSeal provides an all-in-one protection solution for you or the whole family. Our protection plans include Dark Web Monitoring, Financial Transaction Monitoring, VPN, Antivirus, Ad Blocker, Tracking Blocker, and so much more. If you’d like to explore all that our plans have to offer, go to our Protection and Plans page.

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