Is Caller ID Telling You the Truth?

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The display on your caller ID may not be telling the whole truth. Some individuals and organizations spoof the information that displays on caller ID. When this happens, the recipient of the call believes the call originated from a different person or place than it actually did. This intent of this type of action is often malicious. For example, this technique has been used by some private investigators and political campaigns to lure individuals into thinking the call is coming from a more trusted source.

There are legitimate reasons to have the caller ID display information other than the exact information of the call’s origin. For instance, if you work in a very large organization with hundreds or thousands of individual extensions, the phone system may be set up to have all outbound calls display the “main” phone number and name of the organization instead of each individual extension and employee name. (For more valid reasons caller ID information may not be exact, read here.)

Over the years, legislation has been created to maintain authenticity in caller ID. The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 makes it illegal “to cause any caller identification service to knowingly transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value….”

Time Out Hands

Halloo’s virtual phone system for business only allows numbers associated with your account to be displayed on caller ID. While you can choose which outbound call information you’d prefer (e.g., Halloo number, cell number, or 1-800 number), spoofing with numbers or information outside of your account is not permitted.


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