A customer recently shared a screenshot from his phone. 2:42 a.m. A missed call from 217-747-5500, INB’s main phone line. 2:48 another call. Then 3:03.
While it looked like we were calling, we really weren’t! Unfortunately, there are people who like to imitate others. This “imitation” is by no means flattery! Instead, it can be harmful to both us and our customers.
“Spoofing” is the name given when a caller deliberately falsifies information transmitted to your caller ID display. It’s often used to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in fraudulent or illegal activity.
The typical caller ID spoof works like this:
- The scammer logs into a third-party spoofing service and provides payment information.
- Once logged into the site, the scammer provides his or her real phone number, then enters the phone number of the victim. The scammer also provides the information as it will appear on the caller ID.
- The spoofing service calls the scammer back, calls the intended victim's number, and bridges the calls together.
- The victim sees the fake caller ID information and is connected to the scammer.
While phone scamming may have started as a fun way to trick a friend with a call from the White House, for example, many more seem to be using it illegally, and you should lodge complaints with the Federal Communications Commission when you get these calls.
The FCC does a great job of explaining the practice and what you can do if you think you’re being spoofed. Wikipedia also provides a history and examples of spoofing. One thing to remember: INB will never call you and ask for private information such as your account number, Social Security number or mother’s maiden name. Remember, we already have the information you provided us when you began doing business with us.
And, another thing: We won’t be calling you in the middle of the night.