Verizon's efforts to prevent spoofing
Enthusiast - Level 1

Several weeks ago my Verizon mobile number was spoofed (stolen) and, based on an avalanche of responses, used to make a large number of nefarious calls.  This forced me to contact Verizon and change my number.  The Verizon representative did this in a friendly and efficient manner.  I was surprised, and disappointed, to see a charge of $15 for this service on my subsequent monthly bill. In this age of dual authentication via texted codes for websites, changing a mobile number results in hours of work.  No Verizon representative could provide me any assurance this would not happen again.  What is Verizon doing to protect customers' numbers from being spoofed? Note that I did file a complaint with the FCC, but they do not have a useful response. Why can't Verizon put in place measures to assure that only my device can make calls with my number? 

Labels (1)
Re: Verizon's efforts to prevent spoofing
Master - Level 1

You can change your number online without having to call in.

You do realize that until Nov 17 2017 carriers has no choice but to allow ALL calls through BY LAW. What happens if you break your phone and put your SIM in replacement on if Verizon only allowed calls form your device. Under than kind of thing your new device wouldn't work. Also what about call forwarding. That would be rendered moot.

Re: Verizon's efforts to prevent spoofing
Community Leader
Community Leader

Changing the number online is also FREE instead of getting charged when calling in to request a new phone number.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

Re: Verizon's efforts to prevent spoofing
Customer Service Rep

RJLORD2004, I apologize to hear that you were a victim of Caller ID Spoofing and that you had to change your mobile number. I can understand the surprise over the $15 mobile number change and want to ensure we get the fee addressed for you. Ann154 is correct in the fact that the mobile number can be changed via your My Verizon account for free in the future. I have sent you a Direct Message so we can review your options together.

We do as much as possible to protect your number, but at this time Caller ID Spoofing is not something our teams can trace or stop. Spoofing is not caused by an error in the network or your phone. Spoofing usually happens when the calling party uses a paid service (like Spooftel, Spoofer or Spoof Card), which allows the calling party to change the message sent as Caller ID. The FCC has established the Truth in Caller ID Act to help protect consumers from this type of activity. I hope this information is beneficial going forward.


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Re: Verizon's efforts to prevent spoofing
Enthusiast - Level 1

Verizon can fix this problem easily.  Change the caller ID for any call that originates from a computer (using voice over internet protocol) to "INTERNET".  Do NOT show the caller ID presented by the caller, as that will be fake more often then not.  Then we can use our call blocker, or our own judgment, to decline acceptance of the call.  I, personally, would allow any call originating from a computer (rather than a cell phone or a landline) to roll over to voicemail.  If it's someone I know, they'll leave a message and I'll call them back.

Your service to block 20 specific numbers is of NO VALUE for addressing this problem, because the numbers being blocked aren't the real numbers; and the scammers just shift a digit and call again.

Verizon doesn't need to block spoofers to solve this problem.  Verizon can easily remove the ability of a spoofer to hijack someone else's phone number for illegitimate purposes.  Please just do that.

Re: Verizon's efforts to prevent spoofing
Master - Level 3

Verizon wouldn't be able to change the caller ID like that for calls coming in from a computer since they aren't able to determine the device type being used by the calling party since only they only receive the originators subscriber number and caller ID number.

Originating networks do not share the type of device being used by the caller (whether computer/tablet/phone) for VOIP or any calls.

Re: Verizon's efforts to prevent spoofing

There are also regulations that allow spoofing under certain conditions. Like a doctors office with multiple phone lines but want their business number to show.  Carriers and landline has to allow all calls ro go through because of it.

Re: Verizon's efforts to prevent spoofing
Enthusiast - Level 3

I am having the same problem with one of my lines. I mean an avalanche of calls.

I tried finding solutions online, and neither the FCC and FTC have an online complaint form for those who are the victims of vindictive spoofing.

So, I called the FTC and after some dialog with a worker, I stated I didn't want to be falsely accused and punished as a spoofer. She, in turn, opened up a case for me. She gave me a case number. She also said that when a business called asking for the spoofer to give them the case number and report their experience to the FTC. They also wanted me to call the FCC with the case number and start a case with them as well. We still get calls from businesses asking for the spoofer. Today, we asked if the business had a recording of this spoofer's voice. Sadly, no, but we asked anyway. Maybe someone will.

The other issue, besides VOIP spoofing, is the wealth of bad apps on Goo(Don't Be Evil)gle's Play Store. I am sure there are garbage apps in the Apple Store, but not in the same quantity.

The steps I am starting to take, and hopefully you and others can too, is demand online forms for spoofing victims. Especially when you're getting "return calls" that you didn't initiate. Report any bad apps you find online. Most of these tech companies are based in California and held to California laws about wiretapping and identity theft. Get to know them, and quote them to get some action taken.

1. Make a complaint with the FTC and get a case number.

2. Give the case number to the FCC.

3. Report apps promoting spoofing as illegal.

Good luck!

Re: Verizon's efforts to prevent spoofing
Enthusiast - Level 1

There is no good enough reason for numbers to be legally spoofed.  If someone needs to block their number for privacy, then fine, the caller ID can say "unavailable", or a variety of approved messages for certain entities that need this.  If this causes legitimate callers to go to voicemail, that is a small price to pay to help us deal with this problem.  Every small business person I know, who doesn't buy a special service that screens their calls, is absolutely at wits end dealing with the constant waste of time that we are put through by telemarketer spoofers.

Spoofing a number that belongs to an active subscriber of Verizon is most certainly something that Verizon can stop.  For heavens sake, I have received spoofed texts from MY OWN NUMBER.  I don't believe that Verizon is even trying to do something about this.

Re: Verizon's efforts to prevent spoofing
Enthusiast - Level 1

This is a completely unacceptable answer.  2 years later and you still don't have any tools to trace these people .  Some of us use our phones for business and we just can't change our number on the fly.  Secondly blocking doesn't do anything as the prankster just calls the landline.  YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHINIG ABOUT THIS!