I received several calls feom local numbers at the crack of dawn this morning from people who were upset because someone called them from my number.
However – I did not call them.
According to the FCC, this is only illegal if the callers intent is to “defraud, harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value” from the call recipient. In these cases, people found guilty of call spoofing can be fined up to $10,000 per call. Unfortunately, options to fix this problem are limited:
- Call your phone provider and change your number
- Ride it out – scammers only use a number for a limited time to avoid being traced
- Record a voicemail stating: “If you got a call from this number, please understand that telemarketers or scammers are using my number without my permission. For your own security, do not engage with them and please block this number.”
- Report spoofing calls to local law enforcement and/or file a complaint with the FCC – Consumer Complaint Center
Recent FCC Action The Commission adopted rules that will require originating and terminating voice service providers to implement the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication framework in the IP portions of their networks, and proposes additional measures. Learn moreabout Recent FCC Action
If you receive a call from an unknown number:
- Do not answer
- If you do answer and don’t know the caller, hang up
- If the caller asks you to press a button, hang up – do not press anything
- Never assume a call is legitimate and never give personal information to someone who has called you – hang up and call them back on a number you can verify on the company’s bill or website
- BE SUSPICIOUS! Especially if they sound threatening or too good to be true!
- Block all numbers not in your contacts list – most cell phone providers have built in technology to do that, or you can download an app
- You can also silence unknown numbers – this sends callers not in your contacts list straight to voicemail. Check your voicemail frequently to make sure you don’t have legitimate missed calls.