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03/02/2006 Entry: "Caller ID spoofing"

Warning: Scam artists are now spoofing telephone caller IDs in order to appear to be a call from your bank, a trusted business, your credit card companies, or any place they can use to advantage. They choose the # that will show up at the other end. This Q&A from Star38 explains that the spoofing service was created for law enforcement, private investigators and collection agencies. One of the Q&As: Can you give us a general overview of how this works? Without giving away the secret of the product, of course. We control the call from begining to end: the length, the route, the access, etc, on either a PSTN line or VOIP. As a user all you have to do is log in, sign off on the legal disclaimer, enter in the number you are calling, the number you would like to be called back at and the number you would like to show up on the caller ID. Depending what service your company is offering (PI, law enforcement or collections) depends on what number you can enter.

Other services seem less selective. SPOOFTEL.com "the World's Leader in Spoofing Caller ID allows you to appear as the cupid of choice when calling your Valentine on Valentine's Day. Just imagine all the fun you can have." And the Chicago Sun-Tribune reports today, Millions of people have Internet phone equipment that can be set to make any number appear on a Caller ID system. And several Web sites have sprung up to provide spoofing services. For instance, one Web site sells a virtual ''calling card'' for $10 that provides talk time. The user dials a toll-free number, then keys in the destination number and the Caller ID number to display.

Our house has pre-solved this problem by never, ever giving out information over the phone unless we've originated the call.

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