Caller ID Spoofing

What is Caller ID spoofing?

Your caller identification (Caller ID) display normally indicates the phone number and name associated with the line used to call you. There are, however, legitimate purposes for altering the Caller ID information provided when placing a call. For example, a call centre that places legitimate calls on behalf of multiple clients may alter the Caller ID information to accurately display their client’s name and telephone number, or a doctor calling to discuss a patient’s lab results may want the hospital’s general call back number to be displayed in the Caller ID in order to direct all future inquiries appropriately.

Unfortunately, illegitimate telemarketers may change the information that appears on the Caller ID display (a practice known as Caller ID spoofing) to misrepresent themselves and to trick Canadians into answering the call. For example:

Is Caller ID spoofing illegal?

Telemarketers who make calls to Canadians are required to accurately identify themselves and their client. Telemarketers who use technology to spoof their Caller ID information with inaccurate, false or misleading information violate this requirement. Each violation of the Unsolicited Telemarketing Rules can lead to fines up to $1,500 per violation for an individual and $15,000 per violation for a corporation.

How do I protect myself from spoofed calls?

What else is the CRTC doing about it?

To better protect Canadians against nuisance calls, new measures are be implemented by telecom service providers to fight spoofing . For instance, providers must either implement a system to block calls within their networks or offer call-filtering services. By December 2019, Canadians should receive fewer unwanted calls thanks to these new safeguards. Learn more:

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