Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity.

Spoofing is not always illegal. There are legitimate, legal uses for spoofing. For example, a doctor calls a patient from their personal mobile phone and displays the office number rather than the personal phone number of a business displays its toll-free call-back number.

Spoofing is illegal when the caller falsifies the caller ID display information to disguise their identity with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value.

You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be extremely careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information.

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
  • If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
  • Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes” or “No.”
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
  • If you have a voicemail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voicemail if you do not set a password.

Recognize the “Red Flags” before answering the phone.

  • Neighborhooding – Calls from numbers that resemble your own – the area code and Prefix (next three digits) match your number. If you don’t recognize the number, and you’re not expecting any calls, let it go to voicemail.
  • Mirroring – Spoofing of your telephone number to trick you into answering the phone.
  • One Ring – Scammers ring your phone once and hang up. The hope is that you will call the number back. The call back often results in per minute toll charges. Similar to a 900 number on your phone bill.
  • “Yes” call. Once you answer the call, someone asks a seemingly harmless question (such as can you hear me?, Are you there?) in an effort to record a yes response and use it as evidence that a product or offer was authorized.


Contact Us

Genuine Telecom
430 W Union St. Suite 3
PO Box 409
Richland Center, WI 53581
608-647-2345 or:
608-649-6060 (Fax)

Email: info@genuinetel.com

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