You may have experienced “spoofing” if you’ve ever checked your Caller ID, assumed it was a friend or neighbor, and picked up the phone only to be greeted by a telemarketer.
The practice known as “spoofing” is used by unscrupulous businesses to mask their true identity by altering the name and number on your Caller ID. Their main goal is to make you believe it’s someone you know or local to your region, so you’ll answer the phone and listen to their sales pitch or scam.
How Does Phone Spoofing Work?
Scammers may use phone number spoofing to seem like their calls are coming from a reliable company. Many consumers nowadays ignore calls from 1-800 numbers, numbers with foreign area codes, or numbers without caller ID information because they are suspicious of the source.
If you use a smartphone, you may get a call from a number slightly different from your own, such as one with the same area code but a different number. They may even use your name and number to show up on your caller ID system. Spoofing is used in many types of scams by con artists.
Types of Phone Number Spoofing
There are several situations in which a person could be a witness to a phone spoofing incident. We have gathered a list of spoofing techniques that con artists use to deceive many customers.
- Banking Scams: Scammers posing as bank employees contact you and claim there’s been an issue with your account, and they need your financial details to fix it. This individual wants your data so they can steal your money.
- Technical Support Scams: A fraudster phones you, stating an issue with your computer. They may attempt to bill you for bogus repair services, or if you grant them remote access, they may attempt to install malware or other malicious software.
- Prize Opportunity Scams: Someone calls to tell you that you won a reward through a lottery. They’ll tell you that you must pay a little upfront charge to collect the reward. But, when you pay the price, the fraudster vanishes with your money.
Methods of Phone Number Spoofing
There are several programs available that allow people to fake their phone numbers. The majority of applications, though, are either paid or the free ones don’t work effectively. Please be advised that the techniques outlined below are just intended to educate customers about how scammers use these applications to fake their phone numbers.
SpoofCard is one of the earliest and most popular options if you’re looking for a phone number spoofing program. They provide a free fake call program that can be used for 60 seconds at a time and in a particular region, and it works with both iOS and Android devices. However, the free version offers a restricted set of functions.
When you buy the paid version, dial the 1-800 number, input your PIN, the number you want the caller ID to show, and the number you want to contact. This will then set up a fake Caller ID through which you can contact whomever you want. The prominent set of features included in the paid version is the ability to record spoofed calls, disguising your voice while on a spoof call, sending spoofed texts and much more.
Although this method is appropriate for spoofing, the only negative is that enjoying the app’s functions; requires a significant fee, which may only be acceptable for some users.
SpoofTel is a service that lets you send text messages from a disguised number and “spoof” the recipient’s caller ID. This enables users to hide their identity by substituting a fictitious number in caller ID.
To start spoofing your caller ID with SpoofTel, you only need to join up and buy some “Spoof Minutes”. Apart from geographic limitations, you may test out all of the features of the free web version, which is restricted to three 30-second conversations.
The premium edition has four distinct techniques to fake a phone call. When you call a 1-800 number, you may choose the unique features you wish to use after entering your PIN and the phone numbers you want to call and spoof. After that, the service will contact you and connect the call.
These functions are also available on the company’s internet, desktop, and iPhone apps. The iPhone app, on the other hand, only functions on devices that have been jailbroken, while the desktop version is only compatible with Windows. This software is not available for Android devices but is available as a web app, which Android users may use.
What Are Vanity Numbers?
A vanity number is a toll-free telephone number that spells a catchy word or phrase. They may generate an 800 number for a well-known brand name, such as 1-800-FLOWERS. Customers may rapidly dial a vanity number by remembering it and using the matching letters on a phone’s alphanumeric keys rather than seeking up or memorizing a seemingly random sequence of digits.
Phone number spoofing is one method for generating a vanity number. Advertisers and scam artists (sometimes) utilize number spoofing to get vanity numbers for a range of purposes. Vanity numbers are an excellent method to promote local companies. Still, fraudsters sometimes use them to hide their identities and deceive customers by giving the impression that they are an established company.