Many of us rely on caller ID to screen our calls and protect our privacy, but maybe you shouldn’t trust that little digital display. It turns out that when you pick up the phone, you can’t always believe your eyes — or ears.
A new form of identity theft allows thieves to fool caller ID devices.
Why? Because of a technological trick called “Caller ID Spoofing” that allows callers to change the name and number that come up on the display when they call someone.
It used to take sophisticated technology and expertise to “spoof” a number, but commercial spoofing services have brought the trick to the masses. Now, for as little as $10 an hour, customers can dial into a spoofing service that gives them the ability to change the number they appear to be calling from.
Spoofing services even offer you the ability to disguise your voice. A man can choose to sound like a woman, and vice versa.
Lancaster, Pa., Gets Spoofed
Crooks using their own spoofing equipment recently contacted hundreds of Lancaster, Pa., residents — including Gail Gray, the mayor’s wife. They pretended to be with a local bank and asked for sensitive account details.