Caller ID is a useful phone feature that allows you to see who is calling. The problem is that scammers have cleverly created ways to hide their true identities. “Spoofing” is the term for altering the phone number that is displayed on your Caller ID.
Why would a caller “spoof”? The goal is to misrepresent themselves and trick you into answering their call.
Scams are a big deal. They can be costly and have a huge impact on the lives of victims.
A very common phone scam in Canada involves a caller representing themselves as a CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) agent. Intimidation tactics are often used and victims are led to believe that they must provide the CRA with vital information and/or money.
Canadians have lost more than $10M in CRA scams since 2014. In 2017 alone, Canadians lost $3M. (Source)
Scammers use spoofing in various ways.
Often, they use it to pose as a bank, business, or government agency. When you see an “official” caller like that, you are more likely to answer the phone. In this case, the scammer wants you to give up personal or financial information.
Another motivation for spoofing is blocked calls. If you’ve ever blocked a number from calling you, the caller may use spoofing to trick you into answering the phone next time.
When spoofing is being used, your Caller ID may display:
It is illegal for telemarketers to make calls to Canadians without accurately identifying themselves. Using technology to spoof Caller ID with inaccurate, false or misleading information is a violation of the regulations of the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission).
However, there are exceptions. In certain situations, a caller is permitted to alter the Caller ID information. Some examples include:
There are many things you can do to prevent becoming a victim to phone scams.
The CRTC is working hard to protect Canadians from spoofing. They need our help to enforce the rules. It’s easy to file a complaint here.
The CRTC website has a wealth of information about spoofing and unwanted calls, including what to do if you think you’ve been scammed.
Previous Experience: 15 years of systems admin. Certification(s): A+, Network +, ITIL Foundations, Sip School Elite What do you like most about UnitedCloud? “Being part of a close knit team.” What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work? “MMA, golf and cars” What were you like at the age of 10? “Creepy little […]Read more
One of the most challenging parts of owning a business is marketing. Constantly getting the word out about your business to ensure that there is always buzz surrounding it can be tiring, expensive and time consuming. Unfortunately, most small businesses do not have the resources or the reach to effectively market their business. Cloud-based phone […]Read more
Previous Experience: I have 30 years experience of working in the tech Industry. I have designed and built several VoIP networks and I have been both a customer and supplier and so I can relate to both sides.” Certification(s): Too many to count What do you like most about UnitedCloud? “The technology.” […]Read more