What is Caller ID spoofing?

If you glance at your Caller ID and pick up the phone thinking you're talking to a friend or neighbor only to find a telemarketer on the line, you've probably been the victim of "spoofing."

"Spoofing" is a way companies hide their identity by changing how their name and number appear on your Caller ID. There are some unique cases (e.g., domestic violence shelters) when callers do this for legitimate security reasons. But more often than not, their aim is to get you to pick up the phone and listen to their pitch or scam, thinking it may be someone you know or at least in your area. 

How to protect yourself

Spoofing is a growing problem, and one that we want to stop. Unfortunately, spoofers typically use special software, and their calls often come from outside our network. As a result, spoofed calls tend to be untraceable and difficult to prevent.

 

However, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from spoofing:
 

  1. Block incoming calls with calling features. We offer a variety of calling features to protect privacy. When you ordered your home phone service, you may have selected some calling features as part of your service package. You can also add calling features if there's another one you'd like to use. Depending on your package, you may be able to purchase the feature a la carte or get it for no extra cost. 

  2. Try to trace the harassing calls. It can be difficult to trace spoofed calls; however, if you do it three times, then there are some options, including working with law enforcement. The Call Trace feature is available in most areas and is pre-installed on your phone line. You're charged for the service only if you successfully complete a trace. 

  3. Get an unpublished (private) listing. With a private listing, your name, address, and phone number aren't included in the printed phone book and aren't available through Directory Assistance. There is a one-time setup fee and a monthly charge for this service.  

  4. Change your telephone number. While we understand this is probably a last resort, it can be a helpful solution for some people. In most areas, we can change your telephone number one time at no cost if you're receiving harassing calls.

  5. Learn more about Caller ID spoofing and what the FCC is doing about it.

 

If you want to change your telephone number, add or change calling features on your account, or simply have questions, contact us

 

If you continue to receive inappropriate spoofing calls, contact the CenturyLink Annoyance Call Bureau at 800-582-0655. Be prepared to share any relevant information with them such as the dates/times you've received spoofed calls. We're here to help!

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