Caller ID Spoofing

by Shirley Rooker, Director, WUSA 9 Call For Action

Caller ID has become a victim of identity theft? The caller ID on your home or mobile phone tells you the call is from your credit card company or your bank; but is it? Or is the number being spoofed?

Is spoofing a real threat to consumers?

It can be. The caller ID may indicate a call if from your credit card company. You are told your credit card is being used to make purchases that don't fit your spending pattern and the company is concerned that you may be the victim of fraud. The caller asks for your credit card number to verify your identity. Believing the number registered on your caller ID, you provide the info. Oops! Crooks will have a field day using your credit card. Another concern is using caller ID spoofing to convince consumers the call is from their bank to obtain sensitive banking information which is used to empty the account.

Is spoofing taking place in other forms of communication?

It sure is. Emails are spoofed to look as if they come from one source. But, in fact, they are from clever crooks that want to steal your money or your identity. In some cases, spoofing attacks against businesses are designed to steal passwords that will allow access into the company computers.

How should consumers respond to phone calls asking for sensitive information?

The best advice is to use another means to communicate with your financial institution. For example, if you get a call and the caller ID indicates it is your credit card company, do not provide personal information during the call. Ask for the name and phone number of the person calling. But do not use it, rather go to an independent source, such as your credit card itself and locate the number for customer service. Keep whatever info you can collect about the caller in case it is a scam and you can report it to authorities.

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