I keep getting calls from people saying that they received a call from my number. I never called any of these people. Has someone stolen my phone number?
If you receive messages and calls from people who believe they received a call from your number when you know you did not call them, it's likely that your number is being used as a 'caller ID spoof.' Fraudsters can fake the number that appears on Caller ID, making it appear as though you called when in reality the call came from another number entirely. This is against the law but can be difficult to track down.
While it's not possible to completely prevent Caller ID spoofing, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.
You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information.
Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request.
Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
For more information about Caller ID Spoofing, please see the FCC's recent updates about Caller ID Spoofing