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    Number spoofing: Don’t trust caller ID to separate scams from genuine phone calls, Ofcom warns

    Number Spoofing

    Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, has warned people not to trust caller ID on their phones as a means to identify a caller.

    Huw Saunders, a director at Ofcom, told BBC Radio 4’s Money Box that fraudsters are changing their caller ID to disguise their identity in a process known as number spoofing. 

    One example cited by the programme was a woman who was scammed out of nearly £2,000 last summer when she was convinced that the caller was phoning from her bank.  

    Ope Oladejo, a 21-year-old law student, told the BBC the number spoofing “was the most important part [of the deception].” 

    When she doubted the caller, they directed her to the telephone number on the back of her card to reassure her they were calling from her bank.  

    Luckily the money was refunded by her bank. 

    Ofcom describes number spoofing as people who deliberately change the telephone number and/or name relayed as the Caller ID information.

    Mr Saunders said the UK lags behind other countries in tackling the issue. 

    He said: “This problem is global in its scope. They [the US] are ahead of the UK, but that’s not an issue that can be solved overnight. 

    “It’s going to take a few years. If you look at a comparable situation in France, for example, they now have a timetable for the implementation of a particular technical solution and that is over a three-year period.” 

    In the UK, the phone network, the Public Switched Telephone Network, is being updated to a new system, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

    When VoIP is in place – the aim is for the end of 2025 – the industry will be able to stop number spoofing. 

    Mr Saunders said: “It’s only when the vast majority of people are on the new technology (VoIP) that we can implement a new patch to address this problem [of spoofing].” 

    A recent report from industry body UK Finance, suggested the number of reported cases of impersonation fraud – including spoof calls – nearly doubled last year to 40,000. 

    However, the true picture is likely to be much higher as many do not report such fraud often out of embarrassment or guilt. With thanks to inews. The full story is here: https://inews.co.uk/news/consumer/number-spoofing-dont-trust-caller-id-separate-scams-phone-calls-ofcom-981551

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