My phone number has been spoofed


So, my cell number, that I have had for well over a decade, is being spoofed by telemarketers. At least 3-4 times a week, I get a call from a number in the same area code + prefix as my number. If I answer the call, the person on the other end insists that I have called them. Sometimes more than once. Now I’m getting calls in the area code, but with a different prefix.

I’ve tried filing a report with the FCC, but the form assumes you’re reporting a spoofed number calling you, not that you’re the one whose number is being spoofed. And now googling my number shows that there’s FCC complaints against it, which makes it look more suspicious.

Any ideas, short of changing my phone number? My brother-in-law said that there might be a digital ID of some kind behind the actual number that can be changed, but I’m not sure what that means and I don’t want to go telling my carrier to change something I’m not even sure exists.


Give them a call and see what they say:



Also, if you call your cell carrier, they may have a process to investigate where that spoofed call came from. Particularly since you can tell them both the origin and destination numbers, and the approximate time (assuming people are calling you to complain shortly after receiving calls themselves).


Crap and I thought it was bad when someone signed up my name and landline number for a bajillion things. I just cancelled the landline cause qwest was useless giving any real help and I couldn’t see paying $40+/month for less services than I was getting for the $25/month cell phone.


I get frequent cell calls from my Google Voice area code, which isn’t my actual one so I never answer them. I wonder, though, how is this a telemarketing call? What commercial benefit has some telemarketer had from creating a phony phone call between two random people?


In my experience, the calls that come from the same prefix are the scammers that pretend to be informing you of a lawsuit being filed against you by the IRS, and would be oh so happy to help out with that, just provide us with some information! In other words, what they’re doing is not just run-of-the-mill telemarketing but seriously illegal, so they spoof.


My wife’s cell number was spoofed last year and she is about ready to throw away her phone. They come in waves and persist for weeks. It’s extremely annoying. Block one number and they change to another.

We’ve reported the issue to all of the above yet to no avail.


Your phone service provider may have been hacked. If so, once you’ve reported the problem to them ten or twelve times they’ll actually look at their systems, find the invader, and kick them out.

Not sure your level of familiarity with this stuff, so keeping it simple. I can do the alphabet soup thing if you’d prefer! :).


Verifying live phone numbers -> higher quality call list! -> can sell list to other scammers for more $


From @manybellsdown’s description, it could be that people are calling back to the number that’s been calling them. I’ll do this to annoying repeat callers sometimes that don’t have a recognizable ANI.

Also, I’ve seen PBXs get compromised by phreaks who use them to run call campaigns or to call long distance toll numbers. When they’re in the early stages of developing their code you can see stuff like this happen. That’s why I suggested calling the service provider.


Yeah, I assume they’re not answering the call, and then calling back later to see who it was. Which means they call me.

Anyone who’s answered the call and gotten whatever scam these dudes are running probably just went ahead and blocked my number.


Caller-ID spoofing is trivial with many VoIP providers. Just send the number you want to spoof as your Caller ID, and the provider happily sends it through the network to whoever you’re calling.


Sure, but if I answer the phone and the caller is an actual human in my area then I don’t see how the telemarketer knows.

OK, this makes sense.

I get all my garbage calls from an area code from which I am 100% certain I will never get a call I’ll want to answer. Unfortunately, Google Voice won’t let you filter out by area code.


hey that’s my number!


I get a good number of calls from numbers that resemble my own, certainly the first six (of ten) digits. I feel like in the past, I’ve picked them up and it’s been scam calls, credit consolidation, etc. I haven’t picked one up in ages, so these days, who knows. I figured this meant scammers know my number, and feel if they can call with a number similar to my own, I am more likely to pick up. That may be true for most folks, but I’ve learned those are the ones to avoid. Shockingly, they never leave voicemails…


Same same.

Ha, exactly. I just ignore any call if it’s unnamed or I don’t recognize the number. Anyone who I actually want to talk to will likely leave a voicemail, or send a text.


It’s called neighbor spoofing. There’s basically nothing you can do about it. Yes, it’s totally illegal but done by people on the internet using VoIP software and basically impossible to track down.

(This happens to me all the damn time too. I’ve basically started ignoring any calls from the same prefix as my mobile #.)


What my scenario implies, however, is that my number is not necessarily spoofed, right? I am the target, and they are spoofing similar numbers as mine to trick me into picking up, ya?


Right. It’s more accurately caller ID spoofing. Numbers sharing your prefix are being spoofed and your number is the lucky one that shows up on the other person’s phone.

Try explaining this to some angry person calling you all pissed off at you for calling them, though.


Should I assume my number is being at least “caller ID spoofed” in other scenarios with other people? Or not at all necessarily?