Imagine getting a call from a caller ID that reports that your bank or credit card company is calling — and it is not your bank. At the very least you are more likely to answer what is actually a nuisance call stealing your time and energy or at worst an attempt to steal your money or your identity.
One such website — Spoofcard.com — promises fake Caller ID that is “totally private, totally fun, and totally legal.” But hopefully not for long.
Here’s how a caller can trick the Caller ID display that you see. Here’s how it works:
Trick Caller points their web browser to Spoofcard.com.
Trick Caller purchase minutes online from Spoofcard.com.
Trick Caller enters recipients phone number on Spoofcard.com’s website.
Trick Caller enters the number that they want to call and that Spoofcard will trick with a fake Caller ID.
Trick Caller enters the fake number they want to appear on the recipient’s Caller ID. Whatever name is officially registered to the number will appear in the name line of the Caller ID box if the recipient’s service includes name and number.
Trick Caller clicks the “Place Call” button. SpoofCard will call you first as soon as you click “Place Call”. Answer your phone when it rings. When the recipient answers and your party is reached, the call will begin.
There are other features, such as Voice Changer or Call Recording. Voice Changer changes a voice in real time. It can change a male voice to a female voice.
The Illinois attorney general’s office is concerned that criminals could use this technology to get personal information. A lot of other criminal possibilities exist. It is a simple way for stalkers to access people who are screening any contact with stalking offenders. Other criminal possibilities include impersonating police officers or other government offices.
Imagine terrorists calling as an official government agency and declaring an emergency and evacuation with instructions that lure a group of people into a hostage or bombing area.
Many uncivil actions are also possible. A competing business could call a competitor’s customer to cancel an appointment of a competitor.
A competing business could pretend to be another business with very rude and aggressive marketing; or could use deceptive practices over the phone that would put false accusations on an innocent business.
At the very least, imagine sophisticated pranks going bad and causing death or injury.
Telespoof.com works similarly, but they claim their service is intended for business professionals within the U.S. including, but not limited to; Private Investigators, Skip Tracers, Law Enforcement and Lawyers, giving them freedom to choose any number as the Caller ID. Telespoof states they allow you to be whoever you want to be.
At the time of publishing this article, Telespoof charges $10 for 60 minutes of talk time.
While the ability to spoof a Caller ID could be reduced by shutting down commercial services, a sophisticated trick caller with a special ISDN line or Voice Over IP line could give software commands to their own assets to spoof Caller ID on their own.
On June 27, 2007, the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed S.704, a bill that would make it a crime to spoof caller ID. Dubbed the “Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007,” the bill would outlaw causing “any caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information” via “any telecommunications service or IP-enabled voice service.” Law enforcement is exempted from the rule.
Keywords: theft, fraud, identity theft, telephone fraud, prank, spoof, trick, Caller ID, Caller Identification