10 Tips on Caller ID Spoofing that Help You Fight Back
When you answer the phone, the caller is not always who they appear to be. Did you know that some callers “spoof” your caller ID so their number looks different? They are faking their phone number so you do not have the real number they called from. Yes, it may be morally suspect and illegal, but some callers practice this anyway, so you need to be prepared to fight back and resist spoofers. Getting in the right mindset and knowing what to do is important.
In this article, we will help you know how to respond to caller ID spoofing so you can respond effectively the next time it happens. Rather than being a victim, you will be empowered to fight back effectively and legally.
- Caller ID Spoofing—When a caller presents a fake phone number or a number that is not really theirs. Usually, there is also a malicious intent behind the spoofing.
- What is Caller ID Spoofing?
- How to Have a “Fight Back” Mindset Towards Spoofing
- Hanging Up
- Being Careful
- Asking for Their Information
- Identifying Scams
- Search Engine Research
- Secure Service
- Call Blocking
- Not Answering
By the end of this article, you will have a solid idea of what caller ID spoofing is, how to fight back and some ways to respond. You can identify caller ID spoofers and figure out how you will combat future calls.
1. What is Caller ID Spoofing?
Believe it or not, caller ID services can be tricked into presenting a fake number. Usually, these are robocalls and callers with some sort of scam in mind. They may want to steal your financial information, trick an employee into divulging information about your company, obtain access to your systems or have some other malicious intent behind their spoofing.
Every year, many businesses are tricked into responding to caller ID spoofers and giving over valuable financial or business information. Many individuals are tricked into giving away personal information that can lead to identify theft or other harm. Because the phone number listed on the caller ID looks legitimate, it may seem at first like the calls are coming from a safe organization with benevolent intentions. It may appear to be a call from technical support at a software vendor you use, a call announcing a prize your company won or some other call offering you a deal or suggesting winnings. The caller hides their actual phone number behind something that looks reasonable and legitimate. During the phone call, they may impersonate someone else or claim to be selling you something, offering a prize or trying to help your business.
2. How to Have a “Fight Back” Mindset Towards Spoofing
Your mindset about these calls is very important. Keep in mind that any anger you feel about these calls should be channeled properly so you respond in a way that is legal and professional while also effective at fighting back. Sometimes, what you say can even be used against you, in situations where your caller is trying to solicit a specific answer or piece of information. So, it is important to realize these callers are trying to trick you. Getting in the right frame of mind and planning how you will respond can help you be more effective at stopping these scammers.
If you have employees, it is also important to train them on appropriate responses. If your organization has a policy of hanging up the phone when these calls happen, make that clear. If you want there to be some other response, make sure your employees know when and how to respond.
3. Hanging Up
Once you know how to identify a hoax phone call, hanging up prevents the scammer from accomplishing their goals. To hang up ends the call immediately and refuses to allow the scammer to continue.
Now, hanging up on a legitimate call may create some problems, so be sure to learn how to identify legitimate calls and illegitimate calls first.
4. Being Careful
As we discussed earlier in the article, sometimes scammers will try to trick you into providing information over the phone. If you decide to interact with someone on the phone who may be a scammer, you will need to be very careful during the call. Even saying the word “yes” can sometimes be used against you, as some scams intentionally record your voice so they can use the voice recording to fake your agreement. From there, they may steal your identity or misuse your recording in some other ways.
5. Asking for Their Information
If you are not sure if your caller is valid, one technique you can use to help you determine their legitimacy is how they respond to you asking for a name and phone number. You can let them know that you are concerned about phone connection issues and you want a name and phone number to reach them back in case you are disconnected.
Of course, they could simply give you fake information, but a real scammer would not want you to have their real information. Use your judgment to decide if how they respond is appropriate or not. Sometimes, the question may disrupt their plan or cause them to end the call.
6. Identifying Scams
Scammers know that once you hang up the phone, they have usually lost you forever. So, while on the phone they try to convince you to act immediately. They use scare tactics, high-pressure or some other very urgent push to get you to act right away.
A legitimate caller is willing to give you time to consider their offer or return their call. How the caller behaves on the phone, then, is one indication of what is really happening.
7. Search Engine Research
Searching for the phone number on Google or another search engine may bring up stories of others who were scammed. Even if you do not have the caller’s real phone number, searching online with the number listed and some information about the call may bring up valuable information, particularly if a large number of people are being scammed.
Some apps can actually scan incoming phone numbers and identify spoofing. These include PrivacyStar, TrueCaller and others.
9. Secure Service
Your phone service vendor may be able to offer a robocall blocking service, which can help filter out many of the scams.
10. Call Blocking
Once you receive a call from a scammer, blocking their phone number can be an effective way to stop future calls. Of course, they may move to a different phone number, but this does take work and enough blocking may be a disincentive to bother you.
Services such as trapcall.com may help you unmask the caller before they have a chance to scam you in the first place.
12. Not Answering
Once you know what numbers your caller is spoofing or calling from, you can always just stop answering the phone when they call. It can still be annoying to receive these calls, but a scammer usually will not leave a voicemail message and may eventually stop calling if you ignore them. If you do not recognize a number and you are not expecting a call, a good preventative practice can be letting all unrecognizable calls go directly to voicemail.