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How to Prevent Caller ID Spoofing?

Getting calls from unknown numbers is not just annoying but dangerous too. Scammers use caller ID spoofing attacks to cause more harm than you might expect.

What is spoofing? Our blog has various posts on the subject and different spoofing types. Here, we’ll look at caller ID spoofing. 

Caller ID spoofing is yet another attack method focused on getting personal information from unsuspecting victims. People have become more vulnerable recently as a result of the global pandemic, working from home, and other factors. Naturally, cybercriminals are quick to exploit these facts. The number of cyberattacks soared by 220% after since covid, and the scenario is worsening.

How does caller ID spoofing work exactly? Let’s dive in!

What is Caller ID Spoofing?

Caller ID spoofing is a form of cybercrime in which the caller uses techniques to alter the displayed phone number. Basically, scammers call you in disguise, making you think of them as a known friend, colleague, or family member. In most cases, though, the spoofed caller ID belongs to a bank or government organization.

This falsification is done with an intention to win the trust of the victims and obtain personal information for fraudulent activities. 

In April 2022, a would-be bride lost her life savings of nearly £12,000 to fraudsters. Her “bank” called and mentioned that “someone was trying to take money out of her account.” As the phone number appeared to be from the bank, the professional-sounding lady on the call  convinced the victim to make the payment. 

The “customer support representative” assured her that the money would be credited back within an hour. It was after one hour that she realized she was a victim of a spoofed caller ID attack. Now, she’s thinking of calling off the wedding altogether, as she has no money to cover the costs.

Cases like these intensify the need to understand how to detect and prevent caller ID spoofing on your number.

Legal vs. Illegal Spoofing

Legal caller ID spoofing is authorized for individuals and organizations having the permission to do so. For example, businesses offering toll-free numbers.

On the other hand, illegal spoofing callers don’t have permission, and they impersonate legitimate businesses and organizations with malicious intentions.

Why is Illegal Phone Spoofing Dangerous?

Cybercriminals make millions by using caller ID spoofing apps and, in return, cost you a significant dip in brand value and customer relationships of your business.

Here are some significant dangers of illegal phone spoofing::

Customer Impact

Cybercriminals find ways to obtain or steal your customers’ details, and this is where the defacement starts.

They call your customers with a spoofed caller ID, and in most cases, the intention is to convince victims to transfer funds using your good business name.

Wasted Resources

As fraud calls increase, people have started to ignore incoming calls from an unknown number. So, if your sales team relies on cold calling, this can get troublesome for your business model.

The best way to overcome the issue is by including more information on the caller ID; this consists of the company’s name, logo, and purpose, if possible.

Mitigating Negative Experiences

Irrespective of the fact that a spoofing caller ID was used for a fraudulent activity, customers will often hold you accountable. 

If you’ve come across multiple instances of fraud using your business name, take urgent measures to stop caller ID spoofing. Additionally, build effective mechanisms to handle calls, emails, and social media posts and comments regarding such attacks. 

Financial Fraud

Financial fraud is one of the primary motives of caller ID spoofing. The fraudsters imitate a company’s employee and convince the customer or another employee (who possesses the power to make financial transactions on behalf of the company) to make payments.

If not a direct payment transfer, the scammers obtain birth dates, social security numbers, and other details to perform theft in your name.

How to Know if Your Number is Spoofed?

Now that you’re aware of caller ID spoofing, you might want to know if your number is spoofed. A few telltale signs exist:

  • Getting multiple calls and messages from unknown people.
  • Receiving replies pertaining to a communication thread that you did not initiate or have no clue about.
  • The biggest indicator of caller ID spoofing includes people calling you to say not to bother them. This simply means that someone else has been using your caller ID to cause them inconvenience.
  • Getting calls or messages from your own number. This is only possible using a spoofed caller ID.

How to Prevent Spoofed Calls?

According to the Check Point Research Report, there was a 50% rise in cyberattacks per week on corporate networks in 2021 compared to 2020. That’s why you must know the tactics of recognizing email spoofing. However, caller ID spoofing is also keeping up.

There’s no 100% foolproof way to prevent caller ID spoofing. Still, taking the following measures can make it challenging for the spoofers to misuse your phone numbers.

Don’t Enter Online Competitions

We’ve all come across online competitions trying to lure us with larger-than-life gifts and packages. We recommend steering clear from them, as they’re often run by criminals trying to gain your personal information.

Ignore Unknown Callers

Avoid answering unknown calls even if they appear to come from a local area code. In case you pick up, don’t press any buttons requested by the caller or automated machine.

Hang up as soon as you get suspicious. Observe the tone of the caller. Usually, scammers will try to rush you through things and ask many questions to confuse you. Don’t get tricked.

Report Unwanted Calls to Authorities

If you’re regularly receiving calls from unknown numbers, start reporting them to government authorities as well as your service provider. It’s better to record the exact day and time as it helps them track trends and patterns of caller ID spoofing attacks. 

Block Spam Numbers On Your Device

Never answer spam numbers.In fact, block them the minute you get a call. Moreover, if you’re getting calls from unknown people telling you they got a call from you, just ask them to block your phone number until the issue is resolved.

Final Thoughts

Understanding how caller ID spoofing works and the ways to prevent it can save your personal as well as business image. Avoid taking calls from unknown numbers and block them as soon as you suspect danger. 

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