Someone spoofed my number

Calls with spoofed numbers can and do come from all over the world and account for a significant and growing proportion of nuisance calls.

That’s why Ofcom is working with the international regulators – as well as the telecoms industry – to find solutions to the problem.

Voice over IP (VoIP) technology – the type of technology used to make internet calls – is often used in spoofing. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which helps to develop internet standards, has created a group specifically to tackle this issue… More here.

I received a call from a lady on Friday who was more than a little angry. She had received a call advising her that her National Insurance number has been hacked and the person was trying to get lots of her personal information.

She said that the caller ID displayed ‘Shaun McGill’ (an iPhone feature) and that my number was where the call came from.

I explained that I had no idea what was happening and it turned out that my number had been spoofed. There is no way for me to know this is happening unless someone calls me to advise and I also have no way to control it, literally no way at all.

Until this is somehow managed in a technical telecoms sense, which I suspect will be very tricky, the only option open is to change my number. Obviously I don’t want to do this, but I do wonder how big this problem really is?

UPDATE: Something was bugging me though. How was the call showing my name? I get that it may be set on the iPhone, but if the number is spoofed does that mean it is served at a network level?

I called my network provider (EE) who investigated and they advised that they have no control over this. It is a caller ID shown or not shown depending on what I select. They also said that it was more likely that my phone number and name had been taken from somewhere (an online order maybe?) and that it is just coincidence that this happened. The investigations continue.



Categories: Thoughts

4 replies

  1. I’m surprised you picked up. I would have let it go to voicemail.

  2. Was waiting for an important call, but I do pick up calls from normal mobile numbers as a rule.

  3. The whole area is wrong at the moment. The same spoofing can be done with text messages.
    Theoretical scenario:
    1) A scammer calls you to say “your hsbc account needs resetting, please send us a code from your authenticator. We will confirm this via text.”
    2) Then you get a text from HSBC’s text name (which the scammer can pretend to be), and your iphone helpfully puts it in the same thread, so it appears below the valid text you received from HSBC previously, saying we confirm, please tell us the number now.
    3) You hand over the authentication code, the scammer proceeds to pillage your account…

    Wouldn’t work on me as I know they don’t need it, but someone less clear on procedure / an elderly person?

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