Have you been getting a lot of unknown calls lately? Do you believe you’re getting calls from a spoofed number? If so, you probably find yourself asking these questions: How to find out who spoofed my phone number? How to trace a fake text number? How to trace a fake phone number? How to trace a spoofed call?
Learning how to identify spoofed calls or how to tell if your phone is spoofed is a crucial first step in knowing how to trace a spoofed text or how to trace a spoofed call. All of these things may seem just mere trivial knowledge, but it could help if you find yourself receiving calls from a spoofed number or when your number is being spoofed. Tracing a spoofed phone number could be tricky, but it is possible. Read on and learn more about tracing spoofed calls.
What Is Spoofing?
Before we go into more details about how to find out who is spoofing your phone number or how to track a spoofed number, let’s take a closer look first at spoofing. What is spoofing phone numbers exactly? What is a spoofed call?
Spoofing is a broad term that covers any behavior involving a fraudster masquerading as a trusted entity or device to get you, the victim, to do something beneficial to them but detrimental to you. It has different levels of technical complexity and can apply to other communication channels. In most cases, some degree of social engineering is involved. The scammers would usually manipulate the victim by playing on human vulnerabilities, including fear, lack of technical knowledge, and even greed.
As mentioned, spoofing could involve various communication channels like emails, websites, text messaging, and phone calls. This time we’ll focus on spoofed calls and phone number spoofing. So what is a spoofed call? Well, that’s a type of spoofing where a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your Caller ID display. So what is a spoofed number? As implied, it’s the number used in making spoofed calls.
Fraudsters usually go two main routes when spoofing. The first one is neighbor spoofing, where scammers make it appear like the incoming call is from a local number so that victims are more likely to pick it up. The second one is by spoofing a number from a company or even a government agency. This type takes advantage of your trust in the legitimate entity. Whichever way they go, scammers will usually go after your money or essential and sensitive personal information.
How To Uncover a Spoofed Number
How to uncover a spoofed number? How to detect a spoofed number? How to tell if a number is spoofed?- these are probably the questions you want to be answered next. Well, the thing is, while there may be ways on how to trace a spoofed Caller ID, some methods won’t exactly always be easy but still doable.
You can try to reveal spoofed numbers by going through your phone or network carrier or asking for help from law enforcement. These ways, however, could be really time-consuming and do not exactly guarantee the results you might expect. Another route you could take is using third-party apps that allow spoofed number lookups or reverse Caller ID spoofing. Some apps or services can help you on how to tell if a phone number is spoofed.
If you have suspicions that the phone calls you’ve been getting are actually spoofed calls, you might want to try some of these things;
- Do a reverse phone number lookup. If nothing shows up, that’s a big red flag.
- Search the web. Some phone numbers used in scams might be listed on some websites or mentioned in an online article.
- Return the phone call. If the phone number is out of service, there’s a great chance that it’s a spoofed number.
Are Spoofed Phone Calls Illegal?
Can spoof cards be traced? Can spoofed numbers be traced? Can spoofed calls be traced? Well, we’ve established that they can be traced. But what happens if you do trace them? Can you report the person or entity behind it? Can the people behind spoofed calls be punished? Well, the thing is, that would depend on whether the spoofing is legal or illegal.
Phone call spoofing is usually seen in a negative light. More than being quite annoying, such calls are often seen as illegal. Most people don’t realize that there are some instances where phone call spoofing is legal. Let’s take a closer look at legal and illegal spoofing.
- Illegal Spoofing
The Federal Communications Commission basically regulates all forms of interstate and international communications. This independent agency enforces and implements America’s communications laws and regulations. If phone call spoofing, in any way, goes against the rules set by the FCC, then that’s illegal spoofing.
Illegal phone spoofing, in general, refers to spoofing with the “intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value.” This effectively eliminates all scammers and spammers. In the subject of telemarketing, the use of spoofed numbers becomes illegal if the spoofed numbers do not represent the company.
There have been various scams where spoofed numbers were used to steal from victims. Some such scamming schemes are:
- Fraudsters masquerading as legitimate government agencies to obtain social security information.
- Healthcare spoofed call scams where fraudsters claim that a victim’s relative is in the hospital in immediate need of money for medical aid.
- Scammers spoof bank numbers to get bank account information from the victims.
- Legal Spoofing
Conversely, legal spoofing is any form of phone number spoofing that follows the set laws and regulations by the FCC. Legally spoofed calls will usually clearly state their purpose or intentions from the beginning of the call.
Legal spoofing covers all instances of no intention to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value. Also, even if the phone number used is spoofed, it can still be legal as long as it correctly represents the company or party making the call. Moreover, legally spoofed numbers can usually be called back.
Here are some instances where spoofing is legal.
- Businesses spoof their numbers to display a toll-free number on the Caller ID.
- Telemarketers have the spoofed number associated with the company within the call ecosystem. The same number will also be available for a callback.
- Medical professionals spoof their numbers to display their office numbers. This is usually to keep their personal phone number private.
How To Trace a Spoofed Phone Number
How to detect a spoofed number? How to trace a spoof text? Can you find out who spoofed you? Can you trace a spoofed number? Yes, you can track spoofed phone numbers. As to the how, here are some ways of tracing spoofed calls.
- Apps for Tracing a Spoofed Phone Number
You can use third-party apps or services to trace spoofed numbers. There are Caller Id apps where numbers are labeled as spam, which effectively alerts you when you get a call from the same number. There are also spoof number lookup or reverse phone number lookup services that you can try.
- Call Your Phone Service Provider’s Tech Support
Another way to trace a spoofed number is by asking for a “call return” service. This is also referred to in the United States as *69. In some regions, call return is available automatically, while in other areas, fees may apply. Contact your phone provider about the “call return” policy. This is usually how this service works: after the call you want to trace ends, enter the call return code, and you will hear a voice message reading the caller’s phone number, then you may opt to return the call.
- Check Your Call Log or Caller ID
This is the most basic option. If you’re on a landline, you can contact your phone provider to enable Caller ID. But since we’re on the topic of spoofing, this might not exactly work as you want it to.
- Use “Call Trap” or “Call Trace” Functions
You can also enable call trap (which is usually free) or call trace (which may cost an additional charge) functionalities. If you repeatedly get annoying or harassing calls from an unknown caller who could possibly be a scammer, immediately contact your service provider and request for a call trap or call trace.
With call traps, you would be asked by your service provider to keep tabs of the time of the date of the harassing calls for a couple of weeks or. Your service provider will then identify the responsible number and report it to law enforcement. With a call trace, pressing the call trace code (*57 in the US) immediately after the harassing call will send the phone number to law enforcement.
What To Do When You Get a Spoofed Phone Call
“Can spoof calls be traced?” and “Can police trace spoof calls?” – the answer to these questions is yes. But what should you do once you get spoofed calls or have fallen victim to phone spoofing? Every situation might call for a different action; here are some things you can do.
- Do not share personal or financial information.
- Never send money.
- Block repeat nuisance callers. Report them if possible.
- Never reply to spam or suspicious texts.
How To Protect Yourself From Spoofing
Now that you know some ways on how to find out who spoofed you or how to track a fake phone number. Let’s go through some steps to protect yourself from spoof calls.
- Avoid answering calls from unknown numbers unless you’re expecting important calls.
- Avoid hitting any buttons during spoof calls or replying to spoof texts to avoid further calls or messages.
- Avoid answering questions and never give up personal or sensitive information.
- Always verify or do a quick background search when a caller claims to be associated with a bank or company you know or with any government agency.
- Register your number with the National Do Not Call Registry.
- File a complaint or report to your network provider, the FTC, or the FCC.
Tiffany is a lead writer who has a passion for all of the latest use of technology. Tiffany has been writing and delivering the latest app reviews and news for ClickSearch. She is an unbelievable author and continues to produce must-read content.