How to Find a Spoofed Phone Number
By Sylvia Cini
Updated September 28, 2017
Items you will need
Caller ID is a service that is provided by phone companies that enables you to view the phone number of incoming callers. When you know who is calling, you can decide to skip the call, block the number or call back at a later time. You are also able to securely conduct business over the phone. Caller ID spoofing, or caller ID scam, falsifies the number displayed by your caller ID, hiding the identity of the caller. While this is provided as a novelty service for prank calls between friends, this practice has been used to collect private information, steal credit card numbers and impersonate legitimate agencies.
Write down the number that appears on your caller ID, call duration and time of call. Include any names or numbers that the caller provided.
List the evidence that this was a spoof (e.g., suspicious questions, verbal threats, unclear reason for call).
Contact your phone service provider and file a complaint. Inform them using the evidence and details you gathered.
Request that you be contacted with further information regarding the grievance. Ask for a reference number for the open ticket.
Report the incident to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) online. (See Resources. Or mail your complaint to the Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division.
Federal Communications Commission Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division 445 12th Street, SW Washington, D.C. 20554
Do not give out personal information on the phone. Reputable agencies have specific security procedures in place to ensure your privacy. Follow the guidelines outlined by each to protect your identity when spoofing occurs.
Request that the individual removes you from their calling list or refrains from contacting you.
Search for the number online to find complaints from other individuals who have been spoofed.
Keep track of information regarding spoofed phone calls as it may be useful later in the investigation. If a company has already received a warning for spoofing, they may be subject to fines for their violation. This information can also prove useful when dealing with individuals as it is evidence that demonstrates need for legal action, such as restraining orders.
Sylvia Cini has written informative articles for parents and educators since 2009. Her articles appear on various websites. Cini has worked as a mentor, grief counselor, tutor, recreational leader and school volunteer coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Clark University of Worcester, Massachusetts.