Phone number spoofing

#1

This morning I got 3 messages on my cell phone from some guy claiming I called him on his phone. However, all my calls today were incoming and not outgoing. I did not butt dial him. Is it possible to have your phone number spoofed by a third party? A robocaller maybe?

#2

It’s not just possible, it’s downright common.

#3

I actually once got a phone call from ‘my number’

#4

This is a big thing on the east Coast.


The new thing is that they spoof “1-800-922-0204” which is the Verizon Customer Service number.

#5

This is called a “neighbor scam”. If your number is 312-555-4010 they’ll call you from 312-555-9901, keeping the same leading six digits, because you’re more likely to pick up.

I’ve had people call me until I pick up, irate that I called them with spam. I explain this to them calmly, but sometimes they’re so irate that they keep yelling at which point I tell them their mom was a lousy lay and block the number.

#6

I had a lovely short chat today with an Indian fellow calling from a local ice cream shop to sell me insurance for my “final expenses”. I am going to assume it was not obfuscated health advice.

Do Not Call doesn’t work anymore, because spoofing means you can’t find out who is calling to report them. There are no consequences, and no good way to get trust back for that calling party number they show you.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/how-robo-call-moguls-outwitted-the-government-and-completely-wrecked-the-do-not-call-list/2018/01/09/52c769b6-df7a-11e7-bbd0-9dfb2e37492a_story.html

#7

Right, no consequences.

I use an app called Hiya, it’s on both iOS and Android. It has around a 75% success rate on blocking spam calls. It’s free. Another app called Nomorobo is supposed to be much better but it’s like three bucks per month.

https://hiya.com/

Your cellular provider may offer a similar service. For example, AT&T has “Call Protect”.

#8

For some reason I don’t think Ajit Pai is going to put this at the top of his to-do list.

#9

Illegal spammers don’t pay lobbyists. AT&T and Verizon do. I suspect he will take some action.

Pai isn’t anti-consumer, he’s pro-corporation. Sometimes, rarely, those interests don’t collide.

#10

So a new tier of service where you pay an extra $20/month to avoid spam robocalls would be a-ok, I guess. Wonder if that’s what will happen.

#11

I rarely get these on my home phone. I get them all the time on my work phone which is CA.

#12

Until they create a new tier of “spam avoider” bypass and sell it to the calling “entrepreneurs”.

#13

Thanks. I will give that a shot.

An extra $20/month is totally not anti-consumer. Thanks Ajit!

#14

I once had a woman call me and pretty much flip out, accusing me of dialing her. I tried to explain about the spoofing, but she refused to listen and just ranted on and on until I just hung up. This was on my cell, of course, though at home we get those neighbor scams fairly often. Hell, some of my neighbors actually have gotten spoof calls from their own number…

#15

At this point I simply will not answer any call that I don’t recognize. On the rare occasion that it’s not some scam, they’ll leave a message. Not sure why anyone would feel obligated to answer their phone.

#16

I block any number I do not recognize that does not leave a voice mail.

When one moves now and keeps their old phone number I would think that the neighbor scam would not be as effective (eventually). I get calls from Jersey City all the time figuring since I still have a NJ area code even though I live in FL.

There is an app called TrueCaller to combat the spoofing/scams. However, it will ask to have access to your phone directory. I think that means if a friend signs up that the app will get your phone number too if he/she has it in their directory.

I guess the idea is if you get enough users and their saved phone numbers the app ha a better chance of labeling a phone call as possible scam etc. A bit scary.

#17

Which part of NJ do you do all your lying in? Gov. Christie, is that you?

#18

I don’t even understand the psychology of what that works. I get spoof calls from numbers with the first six digits the same as mine, but in what world would that be meaningful in any way? I’ve never once seen a legit business or had a friend/acquaintance with the same first six digits as my phone number.

#19

Well there is the area code and than the exchange code. I suppose the idea is that you would think that may be a possible friend who changed their number?

#20

Truecaller is the same sort of thing as Hiya and Nomorobo. I liked Hiya a bit better.

They ask for your contacts to whitelist them. Not to say I guarantee they don’t steal that info and use it for nefarious purposes, but there is also a legitimate reason.