Fake caller ID, or caller ID spoofing is a technology which has proven to be vastly useful to the business world. Businessmen, bondsmen, and people working in the tech support industry, just to name a few, find this to be an indispensable tool to help grow their business, and streamline processes. As the technology becomes more widely available we find, sadly, that it is used more and more often for illegal purposes. In fact it is estimated that almost 75% of the time a fake caller ID is used for illegal purposes.
Harassment by use of a fake caller ID is becoming more and more common. For years caller ID technology has helped people screen their phone calls to avoid both private parties, as well as pushy businesses such as telemarketers. The innovation of caller ID spoofing however has once more opened the door to unscrupulous activities.
The law strictly forbids the use of a fake caller ID to harass people, and even a faked ID number can be traced back to the calls origin by the proper authorities. However this does not dissuade many people from using the technology for illegal reasons. Many times people simply are not tech savvy enough to understand that you can still have the call traced.
People have abused this technology for everything from simple and harmless prank calls, to stalking. Some people have used a faked caller id to direct police to a home in a practice known as “Swatting”, while others have abused a process known as voice mail hacking. Voice mail hacking can allow someone to infiltrate the voice mail of another person, using the faked ID, and delete messages that may be important.
Many abusers of ID spoofing use this technology for obscene or threatening phone calls. By using the fake ID the confuse their victims, and make the call both difficult and time consuming to track. These blatant violation of the law are some of the most commonly seen abuses of faked caller Ids.
While not as threatening some people will use a faked caller ID to simple annoy random people by calling, then hanging up. When the recipient of the aggravating calls attempts to call the numbers back, the number is often nonexistent, or a computer says that it has been disconnected.
In other types of harassment people may call a person who works in a controversial business such as an abortion clinic, and leave threatening or insulting messages. These can be as frightening and stressful as lewd phone calls.
Some people have been caught using call spoofing to defraud people. By calling and claiming to be a local fire department collecting donations, or by posing as telemarketers selling a product these thieves can acquire monetary payments through check, money order, and even steal credit card numbers by using a fake number, or even a legitimate businesses phone number to further complicate the matters.
You can protect yourself to some extent from scam artists by following the same protection methods you would use against online fraud. Be suspicious of anyone that asks for your personal information, credit card, or bank account numbers. Add your number to the National Do Not Call registry. This will help you avoid real telemarketers, but more importantly identify fake ones. In the case of threats, sexual harassment, or abuse of that nature, do not wait, call the police and report the incident. Emergency service workers have way to override a faked caller ID.