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What Is Spoofing?

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Security Help
 
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Terry from Asheboro, NC writes:

Hey WorldStart,

The other day, my landline phone called itself. No, really! My phone rang twice and before I could get to it, it stopped. Just out of curiosity, I checked the Caller ID. There was my name and number. This wasn’t the first time, so, out of curiosity, I called my phone company. They said it was “Spoofing” and that I should notify the Federal Communications Commission.

What can you tell me about “Spoofing”, and should I really take such drastic measures as to call the F.C.C.?

Thanks much, and, as the kids say, you guys ROCK!

cordlessphone

Thanks Terry! We think our readers rock as well. Spoofers are scammers that use a fake identity. In this case your own phone number and other times they’ll turn up on your caller ID with the name of a legitimate business or organization you might wish to receive a call from to trick you into answering the phone.¬† Using your own phone number is a way to beat number blocking services like NoMoreRobo. You aren’t likely to have you own phone number blocked from calling your house.¬† It’s not like a horror movie where the call is actually coming from inside your house.

Don’t take it personally, there’s probably no particular reason these crooks are picking on you, they try millions of numbers hoping to get just a few people to bite.

You don’t have to call the FCC, but it can’t hurt and these scammers deserve all the grief you can send their way.

You have multiple options for filing a complaint with the FCC:

  • File a complaint online
  • By phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322)
  • TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)
  • By mail (please include include your name, address, contact information and as much detail about your complaint as possible):

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554

Also be on the lookout for e-mail spoofing. They’ll sometimes you your own address as well for the same reasons. You aren’t likely to block your own e-mail address . They will also use the names of legitimate organizations¬† such as banks or government agencies to trick you into opening their e-mails and clicking on links to malicious sites.

~ Cynthia

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