What is Delaware Phone Spoofing?
Caller ID spoofing is the practice of manipulating Caller IDs to display information different from those used to make telephone calls. Phone spoofing conceals callers’ identity information to display other numbers and names other than the caller’s real ID information. It is used for both legal and illegal purposes in Delaware. Technological advancements and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) have made spoofing easy and accessible. VoIP providers allow subscribers to freely choose the numbers they want on their call recipients’ phones each time they make telephone calls. Some websites and mobile applications provide phone spoofing services online at relatively low costs.
Despite being heavily used for deceptive practices, there are also genuine reasons to engage in Caller ID spoofing in Delaware. Law enforcement agents spoof their offices’ phone numbers when investigating criminal cases to conceal their phone numbers. Also, medical doctors often practice Caller ID spoofing to hide personal phone contacts when calling patients from private lines. Phone spoofing is illegal in the United States when it is done with malicious intent to harass, harm, defraud, or obtain anything of value from another person. The Truth in Caller ID Act prohibits phone spoofing for malicious intentions. Unlawful use of phone spoofing in Delaware include:
Persons with ill-intention sometimes spoof the Caller IDs of people dear to their targets and place harassing phone calls to them. They usually engage in this practice to sabotage targets’ business transactions and personal relationships by hurling verbal attacks on them. These callers often pretend to be such victims’ loved ones or business associates when harassing them.
Fraudsters use spoofed robocalls to get Delaware residents to answer their calls and defraud them. They know that most residents now avoid calls from unknown numbers as a result of the high level of phone scam awareness. Scammers mostly spoof the phone numbers of familiar legitimate businesses and government agencies to robocall and deceive targets into giving up sensitive information and money.
Scammers use phone spoofing to give legitimacy to their schemes while impersonating reputable entities and preying on their targets. For instance, they may pretend to be with law enforcement and place live calls to targeted persons to threaten arrest and solicit money. They also sometimes pose as IRS agents and coerce people into making immediate payments of taxes they do not owe.
Persons who are victims of illegal Caller ID spoofing can report online to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). You can recognize spoofed calls by searching websites that offer reverse phone lookup services.
How Do You Know If Your Number Is Being Spoofed?
A definite way of knowing that your number is being spoofed is that you may start getting overwhelming calls and text messages responding to conversations you did not initiate. The activities of anyone who manipulates your number will entirely misrepresent you and should be reported to law enforcement immediately. You can also report it by filing an online complaint with the FCC or contact them at 1 (888) 225-5322.
Why is Phone Spoofing Illegal?
Spoofing is illegal when it is used to harass, harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. The Truth in Caller ID Act prohibits manipulating Caller IDs for malicious purposes. The provisions of this Act make it unlawful for any person to cause any caller identification service to knowingly transmit misleading caller identification information with the intent to cause harm or wrongfully obtain anything of value unless such transmission is exempted. Under this Act, law enforcement can engage in phone spoofing. Also, people can spoof Caller IDs based on the order of a court of law.
Fraudsters actively use spoofing in Delaware phone scams to trick residents into trusting them and yielding to their demands. They spoof both robocalls and live phone calls to cheat residents out of their money and illegally obtain personal information for identity theft. Some scammers also manipulate their targets’ Caller IDs and call them, making it appear like they are calling their numbers. In other instances, they place spoofed calls from overseas and make them appear as phone calls originating from their marks’ neighborhood. These are called neighbor spoofing, and they aim to extort call recipients.
How Can You Identify and Protect Yourself from Illegal Spoofed Calls?
It is hard to recognize manipulated Caller IDs on incoming phone calls without searching reverse phone number lookup applications. Your best options to keep away from illegally spoofed calls include:
- End phone calls from persons who claim to be with some familiar businesses or government agencies to request personal and financial information. Legitimate entities will never ask you for such over the phone.
- Block identified spoofed calls using call-blocking tools provided by your phone company or use third-party call blocking applications.
- Register your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. The DNC list is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and legitimate telemarketers do not place unsolicited calls, spoofed or not, to numbers on the registry. You can call 1 (888) 382-1222 from the number you want to enlist and follow the prompts to register.
- Report spoofed phone calls to the FCC and FTC.
Does Delaware Have Anti-Spoofing Laws?
Delaware does not have state-specific anti-spoofing laws, but some laws prohibit false representations while engaging in telephone solicitations in the state. The Delaware Telemarketing Fraud Act mandates telemarketers to fully disclose their names, addresses, the purpose of calling, and accurate product or service information when contacting residents.
The Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act disapproves of any punic act to promote the sales of goods and services. It specifies that anyone who uses deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with products or services has violated the law. The Act, therefore, prohibits telemarketers from spoofing Caller IDs to deliberately misrepresent the source of calls placed to promote their offers. Violators of this law are liable to a cash fine of not more than $10,000 per violation.
A federal law, the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, is also actively enforced in Delaware. The law describes phone spoofing with malicious intent as illegal and recommends fines ranging from $10,000 to $1,000,000 per violation. The FCC has also directed telephone service providers to ensure the implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN caller authentication system to curb the scourge of illegal phone spoofing.
What are Common Phone Scams involving Caller ID Spoofing in Delaware?
Some of the usual phone scams that rely on Caller ID spoofing to fool Delaware residents are:
- IRS scams
- Jury duty scams
- Utility scams
- Law enforcement impersonation scams
- Charity scams
- Medicare scams
- Lottery scams
- Telemarketing scamsDelawareans who have been victims of phone spoofing scams can file complaints online with the FCC. They can also report to the Fraud and Consumer Protection Division of the Delaware Attorney General’s Office online or call (302) 577-8600.