August 17, 2018

What is Caller ID Spoofing and Can It Hurt Your Company?

Caller ID spoofing is the practice of falsifying caller ID information in order to disguise the actual identity of the caller. A lot of times, CID spoofing is done to extract sensitive information from customers and scam people. For instance, in 2015, a tax scam came to light in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where scammers used spoofing to dupe residents.

Scammers claimed to be calling from City Hall and asked residents to settle their outstanding tax dues. The number displayed on the receivers’ screen, 570-622-1234, suggested that the call originated in Pennsylvania. In fact, on closer inspection, the phone number was found to be that of Pottsville City Hall. However, City Hall wasn’t involved, clearly indicating that the scammers were able to spoof their caller ID.

It Is Also Used By Businesses To Lure Customers

When a call comes in from your local area code mid-day, what do you do? Even when the number is unknown, some people still answer it thinking it could be important. Maybe it is from the hospital, and there is an emergency.

It is such mind games that some businesses play to lure customers into taking telemarketing calls. They will spoof their caller ID so that it matches your city’s local area code. This tactic is what tricks people into believing it might be a genuine caller.

Spoofing Might Be Very A Very Bad Idea

For starters, it could land you in jail, well almost. Some CID spoofing is illegal unless you are a law enforcement agency. Under the Caller ID Act in the US, FCC rules require all telemarketers to display a phone number that one can call during normal business hours.

When using CID spoofing to trick people into picking up the phone, someone could report you to the FCC. It doesn’t take much before you acquire some hefty penalties. Moreover, many smartphones come with some spam reporting and call blocking feature. Customers might be more compelled to flag or block your calls if you display incorrect caller ID information. If enough people report your calls as spam, your caller ID reputation can take a severe hit. You are thus diminishing your chances of reaching out to existing and potential customers.

Another Way Bad Caller ID Reputation Can Hurt Your Business

Someone can use your telephone details to call people and dupe them out of their sensitive information. The Pottsville case cited above is one such example. In such a scenario, your phone number will be reported to FCC and will be associated with illegal activity. Having your business name associated with fraud is never a good idea.

There is also the case of competitors trying to steal your customers. Poaching like this happens more often if you are a bigger brand in the area. They can spoof their caller ID to match your business details and target people who fit your demographic. They can then trick people into giving away personal information such as their email address. The said competitor is building its own verified customer database by piggybacking on your brand name. Since you are a known brand name in the area, people might be more willing to part with their personal information.

What can you do someone else is using your business phone details to dupe people? You can report them to the FCC and the police. Your caller ID reputation is way more important than most people would make you believe. Fortunately, you can check your caller ID reputation online with us. The tool checks your number in all the leading call blocking apps and lets you know if you need new, clean numbers to up your telemarketing game.