Caller ID: Tool for Scammers

Most of us tend to trust the person on the other end of the telephone more than we trust an email in our inbox. However telephone scams continue to plague people and successfully empty the victims bank accounts.

Caller ID spoofing occurs when your phone rings and your caller ID displays a name and number that seem legitimate, but are, in fact, spoofed. The caller has masked his or her true name and number. Most people aren’t aware of caller ID spoofing, and therefore have no reason to question the phone call’s legitimacy.

Caller ID spoofing is often sold as a tool for law enforcement. It can provide a useful disguise if, for instance, a suspect has been withholding child support. But a civilian who suspects a spouse of infidelity might use caller ID spoofing to conduct his or her own investigation. On-call doctors who wish to keep their phone numbers private may need to provide spoofed numbers for clients.

The fraudulent uses for caller ID spoofing vastly outweigh the legitimate ones. Anyone can obtain this technology and pose as law enforcement, a lottery, a charity, a government agency, a credit card company, or anything else that might be lucrative. Abuses of caller ID spoofing have raised hackles with government officials.

Don’t automatically trust the information displayed by you caller ID.

No matter what your caller ID says, never give out personal information over the phone.

If a caller tells you you’ve won something or stand to lose something, tell them you’ll be happy to discuss if further, but that you’ll have to call them back. Then go online, search for a valid number, and call to confirm the details.

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses another databreach on Fox News. Disclosures

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