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Spotting Caller ID Spoofing

Here’s a tip to help protect yourself from this increasingly common scam

September 6, 2023    2 minute read

Scammers never quit, so you have to be very vigilant to avoid getting caught in their schemes. Did you know that scammers can mask the true origin of a call and make it appear that the number on your Caller ID is a local or well-known phone number?

It’s true—the scam is called Caller ID spoofing. Fraudsters are able to make the phone number appear to come from somewhere it isn’t. Fraudsters use this method to increase the chances of people picking up and getting ensnared in scams that impersonate organizations like law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, government agencies or service providers.

Tip: Don’t assume the numbers on your call display are accurate and never provide remote access to your computer. Also keep in mind that a text message number can also be spoofed.

So if you get an unsolicited incoming call claiming to be from your financial institution, for example, advise the caller you will call them back. End the call and dial the number on the back of your card from a different phone if possible or wait 10 minutes before making the outgoing call.

Hone your red flag spotting skills by checking out the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre's list of scams and frauds, as well as our tips on how to spot and stop fraud.