We raised the issue of spoofing telephone numbers earlier this this year at the TPS (that’s the Telephone Preference Service) swanky get-together in London, but we were not given an answer and the representative actually left the building refusing to answer our questions.
Basically, it involves a dodgy call centre often based abroad making telephone calls and making their telephone number appear as a bank or another organisation trusted organisation.
It sounds very complicated like a James Bond gadget hacking into a phone line, this isn’t actually happening! Using free open source software such as Asterisk allows you to fake any telephone number ,and currently nothing is being done within the industry to change the law to stop this practice.
Anyone in the world has the capability using VOIP to make a telephone call over the internet. Using the Asterisk software you actually input your “calling as” or “calling line identity” (CLI) which then displays the telephone number on the called party’s phone. In the industry this is called a presentation number and is widely used for lots of valid and legal reasons.
Your phone rings and you see the number that’s calling you, or you miss a call and see a number displayed on your mobile, thinking that someone from that number has called you.
Quite simply the number displayed cannot be trusted anymore.
If you missed a call from any number and it’s not a friend or a call you were expecting, then do NOTHING.
And if you do answer the telephone, and the calling party says they are from your bank or another important organisation, follow these steps:
1. Ask for the caller’s name
2. Ask which department they work with
3. Ask for a reference number
4. Inform the caller that you need to verify their details and hang up the telephone and do nothing for 5 minutes.
5. Using paperwork or contact details you already hold for this organisation, give them a call quoting the details you requested above to verify the call was genuine and ask to be connected to the person.
Numbergroup as a telephone number supplier see lots of frauds in the industry, and we work with other companies and regulators such as Ofcom and the police to help prevent them.
Two recent scams involve the following telephone numbers;
If you receive a call from these numbers, do not answer the phone or call the numbers back. Ofcom are working with the industry to trace where these calls come from and will eventually stop them.