Even though, as a security and alarm company, Dyanamrk Security of Richmond is dedicated to helping our customers secure their physical property, we also want to make sure you are protected from criminals seeking to rob you through scams.
In the ongoing battle between telemarketing scammers and consumers trying to avoid them, the latest front involves something called call spoofing.
To help protect our customers and the general public from this new threat, we’re publishing the information below about what exactly call spoofing scams are and how you can avoid them.
What Are Call Spoofing Scams?
By now, most people are wise to the various robocall scams that have gotten worse and worse in the past couple of years. As a means of avoiding these robocalls, many people simply stopped answering their phones when they saw a call from a different area code that they didn’t recognize.
The people perpetrating these scams recognized this trend, and came up with an antidote: call spoofing.
Call spoofing is the process by which someone can make a call appear to be coming from a different phone number than the one it is actually coming from. Using software, telemarketing scammers and robocallers can automatically make their calls appear to be coming from the same area code and local exchange as the number they are calling.
The local exchange refers to the three digits of a phone number following the area code. Taken together, the area code and next three numbers are referred to in the telephone industry as NPA-NXX, which is why this type of call spoofing is sometimes referred to as NPA-NXX spoofing.
It’s also referred to as neighbor spoofing, since it basically makes the calls appear as if they could be coming from a neighbor–or your child’s school, or your doctor’s office, or the auto repair shop you just dropped your car off at…or even your locally-owned home security company.
As you can imagine, the rate that people answer these types of spoof calls is much higher than telemarketing or robocalls from an area code they don’t recognize. Even though people might suspect they are robocalls or scams, they still answer the phone because they are afraid they might miss an important call.
To be clear, neighbor spoofing is illegal. However, given that the people using the technology are often perpetrating illegal schemes or scams to begin with, they aren’t going to be too concerned about telemarketing laws.
How to Stop Call Spoofing Scams
Because of the nature of call spoofing scams, especially neighbor spoofing scams, they are very difficult to stop. One method is to simply stop answering any calls unless they are from people already in your address book, but that isn’t very practical, especially if you use your cell phone for business purposes. You’d potentially loose a lot of potential clients if you stopped answering all calls from your area code from numbers that you didn’t recognize.
Another solution is to block the number a robocall or spoofing call comes from, after you answer it and determine that it is not a legitimate call. However, given the tens of thousands of possible number combinations even within the same area code and local exchange, it would be a long time before the scammers ran out of new numbers. Plus, you might accidentally block a legitimate business whose number is being spoofed.
The best way to combat call spoofing is by using a robocall blocker app. These apps use a nationally sourced database of numbers that have been identified by other users as robocallers or scammers. So, in other words, if someone using a specific blocker app identified a number as one being used by a scammer, then every time that number was used to call other people who were using the same app, it would come up as a robocall in the caller ID.
There are a number of both free and paid robocall blocking apps available to both iPhone and Android phone users. Some of the best apps include RoboKiller and Nomorobo, but there are many others. They paid apps are very inexpensive–as little as a dollar a month–and while they won’t completely stop robocalls, they will drastically reduce the frequency of them.
Hopefully, now that you know a little bit more about call spoofing scams, you can avoid becoming a victim of people trying to swindle you out of your time or money.
If you’d also like to be protected from criminals trying to steal your physical property, contact us today for a free quote on a home security system.