“Spoofing” is when a caller falsifies their number to your caller ID to disguise their identity. Unfortunately, spoofing is becoming more and more popular with telemarketing companies, organizations who want you to give out personal information, and malicious callers who want that information to engage in illegal activities. The number will appear as if it’s coming from your home town, and often these spoofers will pretend to be banks, creditors, or insurance companies. So how do you protect yourself from spoofing?
Easy. Never give out personal information if you are even the slightest suspicious of the caller. Always be cautious of any organization asking for personal information like back account numbers, mothers’ maiden name, social security numbers and date of birth. Especially if you are pressured immediately to give up that information.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done about spoofing. Hackers hack in to unsecured voicemails and ‘steal’ your number which is then used to call others in the area seeking out personal information. The FCC rules prohibit spoofing only if the caller is trying to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value, and in some cases, courts will allow spoofing for those who need to protect and hide their number from the public.
If you think your number has been spoofed, or you have been contacted by a spoofed number for harmful intention, immediately file a complaint with the FCC.