Caller ID Spoofing Effective in Identity Theft

Caller ID spoofing is when a telephone’s caller ID displays a number that does not belong to the person calling. The telephone network is tricked into displaying this spoofed number as a result of flaws in caller ID technology. Caller ID spoofing can look like the call is coming from any phone number. People inherently trust caller ID simply because they are unaware that caller ID spoofing exists.

WKYC in Ohio reports, “Police want residents to be aware that scammers are using caller ID spoofing in an attempt to trick them into thinking they are talking to a police officer.” Recently an elderly resident contacted police to report a possible scam. According to the report, “She said she was contacted by someone claiming to be an FBI agent who wanted personal information in order to award a $600,000 sweepstakes. He told her she could call her local police department to confirm it was not a scam. As an officer was speaking with the resident, she received another call that came up on caller ID with the name and phone number of a North Canton police detective.”

Pretty scary and very effective. Most people, including me, rely on caller ID for most or all calls. When the name or number of a familiar person appears, I’m likely to say “Hello John” and expect John’s voice. But by trusting this technology, we open ourselves up to scams like the one above.

To avoid this scam, simply recognize it exists, and be on guard in situations where you don’t recognize the voice or the caller is offering a reward, winnings or anything that seems out of place, too good to be true or in some way shape or form surprises you.

Hang up the phone on scammers—especially when they keep calling back. Eventually they will stop when they realize you’re not an idiot. Identity theft protection can’t protect you here, but being savvy will.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to discussing identity theft prevention. For Robert’s FREE ebook, text SECURE Your@emailaddress to 411247. Disclosures.

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

Watch Out For Caller ID Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing is the practice of causing the telephone network to display a number on the recipient’s caller ID display which is not that of the actual originating caller. Similar to e-mail spoofing which can make it appear that a message came from any e-mail address the sender chooses, caller ID spoofing can make a call appear to have come from any phone number. Most people trust caller ID and are unaware of caller ID spoofing. This is obviously a flawed system ripe for fraud.

In Oklahoma, the anti-caller ID spoofing act has passed the Oklahoma House and now heads to the state Senate. The bill would protect people from getting scammed by people using fake caller ID. The Washington Post reported the “Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007” would make it “unlawful for any person within the United States, in connection with any telecommunications service or VOIP service, to cause any caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information with the intent to defraud or cause harm.”

Caller ID Spoofing is often sold as a tool for law enforcement to disguise them when trying to nab suspects. If someone is trying to evade child support caller ID spoofing may be a legitimate tool. Someone who suspects a cheating spouse may use it to do their own investigations. Doctors on call wanting to block their number may need to change a caller ID if the client requires a phone number to show when calling.

The fraudulent uses for caller ID spoofing far out weigh legitimate ones. Anyone can pose as law enforcement, a charity, government agencies, credit card companies or whatever the imagination can bring. Abuses of this technology have raised hackles with government officials.

Any time your phone rings be suspect. Don’t automatically trust what shows on caller ID. No matter what caller ID says, never give out personal information over the phone. If someone is calling          because you won something or stand to lose something, tell them you’d be happy to discuss, but that you will call them back. My suggestion is to go online and search out a legitimate number and call to confirm the details.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Identity Theft and Home Security on TBS Movie and Makeover.