Phone spoofing schemes are on the rise, and no person is immune to becoming a victim.
Usually, I'm sitting behind a keyboard reporting the news but tonight I'm giving you a personal account of an instance of phone spoofing.
For those who don't know, phone or caller ID spoofing is a process that tricks the phone network into displaying a phone number on caller ID that is not the original caller's number.
Often times, phony companies or scammer use this trick to deceive the person they are calling in the hopes they answer the phone.
I fell for it, on numerous occasions. There's something about receiving a call from a local number that doesn't seem deceptive. Each time I answered, I was sure I would hear a familiar voice on the other end.
Instead, I was greeted by either a woman telling me she can help me pay down my student loans (I don't have any student loans,) or the phone disconnected after I answered. What's more, not only was I receiving calls where the caller had spoofed the phone number, my phone number was also being used to deceive other people.
After a while, I started to notice a pattern. The phone numbers were always 704-280 numbers. I stopped answering and blocked the calls, but the spoofer was relentless.
Still, I didn't think much of it at the time, but that changed today after I received a text message from an unknown individual.
To be honest, I rarely respond to text messages from people who I do not know, however, I pondered about the text for a moment.
The question was, "Who are you?"
I didn't give a direct answer. Instead, I just said, "What?"
The texter asked me why I had called, and I said I didn't place a call to their number. However, the person who sent the text sent me a screenshot showing that my number had indeed called his or her phone.
For a moment I was baffled. I checked my call log and sure enough, there was no record that I had placed a call to their number.
One thing dawned on me though as I was trying to piece together what was going on -- the texter also had a 704-280 phone number.
We exchanged a few more texts and came to the conclusion that the spoofer was using the first six digits of my number to trick people into answering. The texter also confirmed that they were also receiving calls from all sorts of numbers with the same first six digits.
I immediately requested that my phone number be changed and I'm happy to report I now have a different number -- so hopefully, I have managed to evade the spoofer.
In truth, phone spoofing can happen to anyone at anytime. Had I not received and responded to the text message today, I would still not be aware of the fact my phone number was being used to deceive people into answering the phone.
QCWriter is a journalist who is fueled by espresso and motivated by determination. She specializes in pop culture, country music, and news content. You can follow her on Twitter by clicking here: @QCWriter.