What is Caller ID Spoofing?

Most people don't look at their phones and think they pose a danger, but these days, your phone can cause a security issue. Though most security experts focus on online fraud, the instances of phone fraud has skyrocketed over the past few years.

Thanks to technology such as voice-over-IP, criminals from around the world have access to reach out to anyone. The can hide their identity, pretend to be someone they are not, and since there are so many organizations using phone calls as a way to confirm a person's identity, this is a major problem.

Caller ID Spoofing - What Is It?

Caller ID spoofing is a process that causes a telephone number to appear on a caller ID display, but the number is fake. This is very similar to the emails you may receive that show the name of a person or business you know, but when you see the actual address, it is one you do not recognize. Since most people trust their caller ID, they are unaware that it can be spoofed, and this could be dangerous.

Many law enforcement agencies actually use this technology to capture criminals, as it can disguise them when trying to capture a suspect. Doctors, businesses and others may also use this technology in legitimate ways. However, too many scammers use caller ID spoofing to attack both consumers and financial institutions. Fraudulent uses for caller ID spoofing are much more prevalent than the legitimate reasons.

Most scammers will take advantage of people by posing as a charity, law enforcement agent, government agency,  bank or even a credit card company.

Most people will see a caller ID that says the name of their bank and freely give them information. On the other end of the line, however, a fraudster is collecting the information and preparing to take advantage of the consumer.

Unfortunately, there are few weapons that customers have to fight against caller ID spoofing.

There are services available, such as Pindrop, allow a business to reasonably determine if a call is from the number that appears on the caller ID display, consumers do not have access to this type of software. There are, however, some ways that you can protect yourself.

How to Protect Yourself from Caller ID Spoofing

Though there are no software options for caller ID spoofing, there are a few ways for consumers to protect themselves.

1. Do Not Trust Caller ID

The first thing that you should always do when protecting yourself from caller ID spoofing is to stop trusting caller ID. According to data, approximately one out of every 300 calls are scams. It doesn't matter where the caller ID display says the call is coming from, you should not trust that with 100 percent certainty. You should only give information over the phone to someone you know, and not someone who appears that they may be calling from an organization such as a bank.

2. Ask to Call the Person Back and Get a Number

Since so many scammers are targeting consumers by phone, many fraudsters online are adding a phone number component to their schemes in order to seem more genuine. This means that a consumer should never call a number in any e-mail and think that the number is a genuine number.

On top of this, if a caller asks for specific information, such as a bank account number, ask for a number to call them back. Investigate the number online, and then, if you feel confident, return the call and give them the information. Don't give any information to a caller unless you are 100 percent sure the call is legit.