While Caller ID spoofing still has many legitimate purposes, people never seem to point them out and solely focus on the negative aspects of Caller ID spoofing. Here are just some of the ways Caller ID spoofing has been used.
Prank Calls – Caller ID spoofing is commonly used to prank call friends and family as well as complete strangers. While most prank calls using Caller ID spoofing are harmless, there have been some exceptions.
Spoofing Your Work Number – One of the most common uses of spoofing, is done to show a business telephone number, while calling from another phone, such as a cell phone. Business owners rely on spoofing to keep their direct numbers private or to appear as if they are in their office.
Skip Tracing and Bounty Hunting – Caller ID spoofing is commonly used by Skip Tracers and Bounty Hunters, to track down hard to find or missing individuals. If a person does not recognize the calling number, then they typically will not answer the phone. If a person sees a number they recognize, then they are more likely to answer the call and speak to the person on the other end.
Pretexting – Caller ID spoofing is commonly used by Private Investigators to create a scenario and pose as another individual in an effort to release needed information or perform an action, that they might not otherwise be able to accomplish. Pretexting has come under fire in the past year, when it was discovered to be used to gain access to cell phone calling records.
Voicemail Hacking – Caller ID spoofing can sometimes be used to break into voicemail boxes with some phone providers. For a while Cingular was vulnerable to voicemail hacking. Typically a user will spoof the number of the phone that they want to break into, to a voicemail access number or directly to the phone.
Wire Fraud – Unfortunately phishers and other scammers have figured out that money transfer services, such as Western Union, rely on Caller ID to verify that the caller is calling from their home phone number. Scammers will typically call into these money transfer services with the Caller ID of the person they are pretending to be, and will use that persons credit card or bank account to transfer funds overseas or to “mules” who are paid a percentage of the transaction, to cash out for them.
Phone Phishing – A lot of experts have claimed for some time now that Caller ID spoofing would be used for phone phishing, in an attempt to gain personal information from end users over the phone. At this time phone phishing is very rare. Phone phishing is considered fraud and is illegal.
Bomb Threats – Caller ID spoofing is believed to have be used to phone in bomb threats resulting in bomb squads being sent to a location.