What is Caller ID Spoofing?

Data for Good Phone Security Tips Stay Safe October 1, 2019


What is Caller ID Spoofing?

Receiving incessant calls from unknown numbers is irritating. Whether you’re a small business owner who is dependant on calls for new clients or you’re cell phone averse and only use one for emergencies, we’ve all probably experienced spam calls and phone spoofing.

In recent years, these spam calls have undergone a makeover. Now it is quite common to receive calls from numbers with the same area code as your number. If these are coming from a number that you don’t know, scammers are using a caller id spoofing technique called “neighbor spoofing”. This is a technique used to get you to share personal and financial information with someone you should trust. 

If you answer the call the scammer will likely try to get your credit card number or social security number. Common examples of this are the IRS scam, the Grandparent scam, or the Medical Alert scam. These are often real phone numbers of real people. Scammers use automated systems to hide their actual number and appear like they are calling from your area.

We recommend that you do not answer the call and let it go to voicemail. Legitimate callers will leave a voicemail. Using services like the Whitepages App (Android and iOS) and Reverse Phone App (iOS) can help you identify if it is a person or business you know. 

Remember that if you look up a spoofed phone number on Whitepages, it may belong to a real person and probably won’t be labelled as “spam” on our site. Scammers who use number spoofing usually switch numbers frequently, which means it won’t be flagged on our site.