With all types of scams on the rise, we thought it would be useful to explain what ‘call spoofing’ is and to offer you some advice, so you can better protect yourself from bad actors who employ this sneaky tactic.
What is call Spoofing?
If you currently use a telephone handset which offers caller display, then you probably rely on this useful feature to screen calls that you receive. Caller ID will display the number that is calling you so you can decide whether to answer it or not. Very handy if you prefer to only answer calls from numbers you recognise. You may sometimes see caller ID referred to as Caller Line Identity (CLI).
Call spoofing is the practice of changing the caller ID to mimic another number or destination.
Why ‘spoof’ a telephone number?
Sometimes there is good reason to modify the caller ID, for example, many large companies (Banks, Utility, Telecoms, Government) will use this method to display an 0800 number as opposed to a local number when calling their customers. This means if you need to call them back the number is usually free to call, it also means you can check the company’s website or your latest bill, to verify their telephone number.
Unfortunately, nuisance callers and criminals use call spoofing to hide their identity and make it look like they are legitimate callers from companies you may have a relationship with. More often than not these bad actors are out to steal your login details and/or your financial information.
Spoofed calls are not just targeting UK residents, these calls originate from all over the world. This is a worldwide problem. Both the UK and international regulators are working with the telecoms industry to solve this problem.
What can you do to prevent becoming a victim of call spoofing?
Be vigilant, never give out personal information in response to an incoming call, particularly if the caller asks you to carry out an action which might have financial consequences or seeking to confirm login or account details. Do not rely upon Caller ID as your sole means of identification. If someone rings you asking for this information, don't provide it. Instead, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, or contact the company through their website.
If you want to report the call to BT click this link Report a scam call to BT, we use the data collected to help protect all of our customers.