Trace anonymous text message
Fact: almost 30% of all calls made each day are robocalls.
Robocalls are calls with a pre-recorded message from – often – spoofed numbers. Every day, people around the world are bothered by spoof callers who are often scammers. We will discuss tracing a spoofed phone number and how to catch a spoof caller.
What is caller ID spoofing
Phone spoofing is when the person disguises the phone number they are calling or texting from by altering their caller ID. It is a common practice among scammers to get you on the phone by utilizing a fake number. Most people will answer because it’s often hard for somebody to resist answering a call from an unknown number. It is also used to be (almost) untraceable.
Sometimes they spoof the number of an ordinary person. This happened to Ethan who owns a steel and engineering company in Australia. One day he received phone calls from all around Australia from people saying they had a missed call from his number. His phone number was likely spoofed by a scammer.
Some scammers randomly pick phone numbers to make scam calls from. But most international scammers are more sophisticated. They choose a particular number from a neighborhood so the recipients’ area code is similar to the victim. By using the same area code, people are more likely to take the call.
Scammers hijack or imitate phone numbers. Either to pretend to be a certain person, business or department to get information or money. It also often used to appear like a local or legitimate number to better their chances of getting through to their victim. In the US and Australia, there is nothing illegal about phone spoofing. If you use a spoofed number for a prank on a friend, it is legal. However, if you use the spoofed number to deceive someone to obtain information it is illegal.
How to uncover a spoofed number
To find out if a number is spoofed, you can search the reverse phone lookup for the number. If there are no results, it’s a big red flag. This might mean that the number used to call you is not a real number. Try to return the phone call. If it’s out of service, you can be confident it was a spoofed call.
You can also type the number in Google. If it’s used for scams it might be listed on the internet.
How to stop phone spoofing
Even FCC’s commissioners are growing incensed with robocalls. The FCC announced that they will act this year if carriers don’t do enough to fight robocalls.
If you get spoof calls, there are a few things you can do stop them from coming in.
- Block the numbers; this stops the same scammers from calling from the specific numbers you blocked. However, they can call again using a different number.
- Look into call blocking services that block VoiP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) calls and texts. These services prevent scammers from using a spoofed number to call you.
How to catch a spoof caller
Tracing a spoofed phone number and catching a spoofed caller is not easy. Definitely not as easy as identifying an anonymous Twitter user, the sender of an anonymous email or the person behind internet posting and blogging. Some spoofing services allow the anonymous caller or text message sender to receive replies. In such cases, Rexxfield investigators can often trace the spoof text messages and positively identify the individual responsible for the spoofing harassment. Even out-of-court. These cases are mostly harassment cases. Because the cyberbully wants to hurt someone, they want to engage in a conversation. This allows you to send and receive text messages. By tracing anonymous text messages, we can catch a spoof caller.
However, most spoofing services are one way only, especially when it comes to scams. The person can send messages to you, but you cannot reply. In these one-way cases, it may not be possible to identify the origins of the spoofed messages or calls. Except through criminal or civil court proceedings which leverage the use of subpoena or warrants to obtain forensic evidence that may ultimately lead to uncloaking the antagonist.
Tracing a spoofed phone number through teleprovider
In other cases, tracing a spoofed phone number can be done through your telephone company. Sometimes telephone companies can trace spoof calls back to their origin. This, however, can be a timely process and does not always provide correct results.
Read more about how to find the anonymous sender of an email.