Stay Aware – Don’t Get Fooled By Phone Spoof Scams

27th June 2017

What is phone spoofing?

Caller ID spoofing is when a company or individual hides their caller ID and displays a different name or number instead. In some cases, this is done by legitimate businesses who for example, wish to leave an 0800 freephone number for you to call back on.

However, the Financial Fraud Action (FFA) UK have reported that the number of phone spoofing cases doubled from 2015 to 2016 due to the crackdown on vishing (voice phishing). Now that the availability of phone spoofing services has increased online it is more important than ever to stay aware of the risks of these calls.

How is it used?

Scammers use this technology to change the number that they are dialling from to instead show up as bank staff, credit card companies, creditors, or government employees in order to get personal information or passwords from their victims.

A recent Fusion video showed how a hacker takes over someone’s online account using nothing but a phone.

These calls can come from all over the world so Ofcom is working with international regulators and the telecoms industry in order to find solutions.

Call Spoofing

What should you do?

Never give out your personal information in response to an incoming call. Also, try not to rely on Caller ID as the sole means of identification, especially if the caller asks you to reveal any personal information including financial details.

If someone does ask you for this information, hang up. Wait at least five minutes and then call the number specified on your account statement or the bank, company, or government website.  Ideally you should make this call from a different phone line.

If you have been a victim of Caller ID spoofing

If you’re a victim of fraud and funds have been stolen from you in this manner, let your bank know right away so that they can attempt to recover your stolen funds.

Tell Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting: http://actionfraud.police.uk to ensure that it is investigated further.

You can also tell Trading Standards by phoning 03454 04 05 06 and telling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, who will pass the information on to Trading Standards.

Update: 28 June 2017 (Source BBC News)

Four people have been arrested in the UK following an investigation into scams involving calls from fraudsters pretending to be IT support staff.  Read more on the BBC website

I’m sure this is the tip of the iceberg though, so stay aware and don’t give your details to anyone that calls you.

Be sure to share this information with family and friends to ensure that they are not caught out by scammers.

Leave a Reply