Information and steps to take when receiving fraudulent calls from unknown individuals.
What exactly are robocalls and spoofed calls?
In simplest terms, a robocall is made from an auto-dialer that contains a pre-recorded message featuring either an actual person’s voice or an artificial one; a spoofed call occurs when a caller falsifies the information transmitted by your caller id. The difference between the two calls is that robocalls usually involve a caller calling you continually, whereas a spoofed call is made by someone who uses your phone number as if it was you making the call.
Is this illegal?
Yes, it is, and there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.
- If possible, don't answer any calls from phone numbers that are unfamiliar to you. If you do answer and then realize it's a robocall or you're a victim of being spoofed:
- Don't give out any information and hang up immediately
- Do not respond to any questions if you receive a call from a company or a person asking for personal information. Most importantly, don't ever answer any questions requiring simply "yes" or "no" answers. The individual may be recording you to use later for voice recognition.
- Report the calls to the National Do Not Call Registry where you will be able to add your calls to the list. All members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to do this in order to try and alleviate this problem.
The table below describes the alerts which Rensselaer has set up on its phone system to help alleviate some of the calls which may make their way onto campus.
|Caller ID Display||Description|
|FRAUDULENT CALL||Calls originating from invalid, unallocated and unassigned telephone numbers, as well as calls originating from inbound-only numbers that should never make outbound calls.|
|Calls with a high probability of being originated by a robodialer based on the Neustar reputation database score will show up on caller id with the phone number preceded by the word SPAM|
| Regular caller ID
display passed through
|Caller ID will be passed through as-is for calls with a low probability of being originated by a robodialer based on the Neustar reputation database score.|
What can you do if your number has been spoofed?
- Try not to answer any calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.
- Make sure that your voicemail is up-to-date and let your phone calls roll to it to help filter out any unnecessary callers.
- You may also want to temporarily update your voicemail to state that your phone number has been subjected to spoofing.
- Keep in mind that scammers change numbers frequently. Unfortunately, in most cases, it can only be a matter of a few hours or days before these individuals move on and target someone else.