Spoofed Telephone Calls (Mar 2019)

Technology Tips – Published March 2019 in the Guide and Digest

By Don Trauger – Kennett

A spoofed telephone call can be described as an unknown caller using a fake name and telephone phone number to contact you to obtain your personal information so they can scam you. Previously I have written about enabling Nomorobo at http://hersheysmill.org/?s=nomorobo in your Verizon account to handle annoying robo calls. Nomorobo is based on using established fake phone numbers in their database. The problem  is Nomorobo can’t keep up with spoofed calls. These types of calls are generated very quickly, often changing their name and caller ID number with every call. Nomorobo is still effective but  less so now compared to spoofed calls.


Unfortunately some HM residents have been victimized by two types of calls loosing thousands of dollars. Both types are out to separate you from your money and, worse yet, they may have your personal information if you have given it to them. One of the most common types revolves around computer security problems. You can see computer security intrusions by a pop-up window on your computer or by an incoming phone call with caller ID purportedly from Microsoft, Apple and other fake companies. No legitimate company will ever call you about your computer whether you’re having a problem or not. The only exception could be that you called them first and asked to be called back. Computer intrusions (malware) can be detected and removed by Malwarebytes Free at https://www.malwarebytes.com/.


Years ago we used to answer almost all phone calls as there were hardly any scams out there. Now we need to be vigilant against such scam calls. If you answer the phone beware that these people are very slick. They are experienced in dealing with others and are convincing in their dialog. My advice is to not answer any incoming calls if you don’t recognize the name or number. If it’s an important call, but you don’t recognize it, let it go to your voice messaging system. The best part here is that incoming scam calls rarely if ever leave a message.


Now for more good news. The FCC has mandated all telecommunications companies (Verizon, Comcast, etc.) must implement techniques in 2019 to insure incoming calls come from legitimate sources, making sure that the calls are not spoofed. More on caller ID Spoofing at https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id and  https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/finally-the-fcc-is-cracking-down-on-caller-id-spoofing.


For a discussion on this subject please attend the PC Club meeting on the 3rd Tuesday March 19, 2019 at 7 PM in the Community Center or other location designated if construction starts in the Community Center.