When it comes to telephone spoofing, you can't always trust the name that appears on your caller identification. Telephone spoofing operations, often located overseas, use sophisticated software to place calls that appear on the recipient's caller ID as coming from a credible and trusted source, including businesses or government agencies. For example, recent scams have mimicked both Microsoft Corporation (informing victims their computer is infected with a virus and they must open an email to fix it) and the Internal Revenue Service (informing victims there is a problem with their tax returns and soliciting personal information). These spoofs target both individuals and businesses alike.
When you recognize a telephone spoof, instead of just hanging up, consider reporting it to your telecommunications carrier (and if it happens at work, report it to the Helpdesk). Carriers have systems to identify the source of spoofing campaigns and potentially block them. They also share information with other carriers and law enforcement to coordinate efforts to combat telephone spoofing.
Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact Bob Brewer, Tony McFarland, Elizabeth Warren or a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.