phonenumbers
Kentucky Phone Number Lookup

What is Kentucky Phone Spoofing?

Phone Spoofing is when a caller deliberately transmits misleading information to a receiver's caller ID display. Spoofing allows the caller to hide their real identity by replacing it with another caller ID. In the 90s, spoofing was very expensive because individuals had to contact government agencies or big firms for this service. However, with the increasing availability of internet telephone technology, spoofing has become very common in society.

Phone scammers can spoof any real or fake phone number making it appear that they call from your area code, a government entity, any other phone number, or even your phone number. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology makes it easy for callers to spoof their numbers. They do so by configuring a record system so that a chosen number pops up instead of the number being retrieved from the registered database. In the United States, spoofing is prohibited when used to aid any fraudulent scheme. Spoofing to harass, trick, scam, and unlawfully obtain information and valuables from innocent people is a crime.

However, the US government authorizes certain law enforcement agencies to disguise their phone numbers for law enforcement purposes. Residents may use a reverse phone number lookup tool to identify unknown numbers. Spoofing is now a common means to defraud people.  Scammers may manipulate their phone numbers to display their target’s area code, making their target believe that the call is a local call. Alternatively, they can spoof their numbers to impersonate the target's close contact or even a reputable organization within one's locality. Phone spoofing is required to facilitate certain crimes; some of these crimes include:

Swatting

Individuals can spoof their numbers for so many reasons, and one of them is to cause fear or elicit an immediate response from a government agency. Swatting occurs when an individual calls a law enforcement agency, such as the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, reporting a false incident to elicit an immediate response from the team. These individuals spoof their phone numbers to remain anonymous to the agency. This ensures that they are not at risk of being caught later.

Stalking

Individuals spoof their number to either the number of a law enforcement agency or a close contact to obtain information about the target location. This is done consistently to cause fear and harass the target. Scammers stalk their targets to obtain money or information from them.

Impersonation scams

Impersonation scam has become very popular because of the availability of many internet technologies. This scam entails the scammer spoofing their number to resemble that of an organization that their target trust. Organizations like the Inland Revenue Service, Kentucky State Police, and State Courts are impersonated to extort money or sensitive information from innocent persons. Residents may contact a reverse phone number service provider for more information on government numbers.

Harassment

Individuals can use phone spoofing to harass or prank innocent individuals in the country. To harass a target, they often use the target's friend or family member number. The prank could be harmless, as the perpetrator may prefer the fun of watching the target confused. However, it can also be hazardous and lead to financial ruin or bodily harm. These scammers often start the conversation with warm regards to stir the victim's interest, after which they say something to cause fear or worry and give malicious instructions.

Fraudulent Telemarketing

Scammers spoof their caller ID to impersonate legitimate telemarketers. They make use of pre-recorded scripts to persuade the target into giving up personal information. Generally, these pre-recorded scripts make bogus promises to lure the targets into cooperating. Residents who have been targeted by a suspicious telemarketer can file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

How Do You Know If Your Number Is Being Spoofed?

It is not difficult to know whether your number has been spoofed. A spoofed number will always receive calls and texts replying to conversations you never initiated. Victims or those that want to do what the scammer asked may likely ring you. Avoid being associated with a crime you are unaware of by contacting the FCC at 1-888-CALL FCC (225-5322) or file an online report.

Why is Phone Spoofing Illegal?

In the United States and Kentucky, residents retain the right to either take or ignore their call. Hence, any individual who transmits a misleading caller ID to defraud or harm another individual is a criminal. A spoofed ID deceives the target and influences their choice to pick the call, which is an infringement. Scammers may use spoofed numbers to trick an individual into making a decision that is not based on their choice and is considered fraudulent. Residents are advised to do a reverse phone number search to identify spoofed calls.

The federal law that governs caller ID is the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009. This Act specifies that it is illegal to deliberately transmit false caller identification information for criminal intentions. However, the law may not apply to certain law enforcement situations.

How Can You Identify and Protect Yourself from Illegal Spoofed Calls?

With the increase in phone and internet scams in the state, Kentuckians can identify and protect themselves by following these steps.

  • Hang up a phone call if a call is from a known organization, but the caller requests information that the organization should already have.
  • Spoofed calls usually use numbers from a known organization to continuously call targets without leaving a mail or text message.
  • Download and install a call blocking application to block numbers you identify as spoofed calls.
  • Contact a reverse phone lookup service provider or download a reverse phone number search tool.
  • Report any spoofed calls to the FCC by filing a complaint on their website.
  • Register on the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce unsolicited calls.

Does Kentucky Have Anti-Spoofing Laws?

In March 2019, the Governor of Kentucky signed the new Kentucky House Bill-84 to make it unlawful for any business or individual to misrepresent the name or telephone number in caller identification services. The bill also imposed criminal fines and payment of restitution for violation. Telecommunications, broadband, or voice over protocol service providers are exempted from this law in their attempt to deliver special services to their customers.

The federal anti-spoofing law is the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009. The Act prohibits any person within the country from deliberately transmitting misleading or false caller identification information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value. Offenders may pay between $10,000 to $1,000,000 for each violation of the act. Additionally, the FCC stated that a new policy mandating service providers to use STIR/SHAKEN protocols to authenticate customers’ caller IDs will take effect from June 2021. With these protocols, service providers can be sure that caller IDs are legitimate and verified before they reach a recipient.

What are Common Phone Scams involving Caller ID Spoofing in Kentucky?

Spoofing increases the chances of getting a response from targets. Residents can not take every call, but spoofing a phone number to one they are familiar with has more advantages than otherwise. Con artists may spoof their numbers to impersonate agencies or organizations to trick individuals into taking their call. Residents who have had this experience can file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Residents may also contact the FCC by calling 1-888-CALL FCC (225-5322). Some of the common phone spoofing scams that occur in Kentucky State are listed below:

  • Law enforcement impersonation scams
  • Medicare scams
  • Gold scams
  • Telemarketing scams
  • Charity scams
  • Utility bill scams.
  • Lottery/sweepstakes scam