Caller ID says it's Granny calling but...

when you answer the phone it’s some goniff trying to collect an overdue bill.

from here.

To quote Daffy Duck, “That’s just dethpicable!” :eek:

So is skipping out on bills…

What’s despicable is not the valid collection of an honest debt, but the fact that they somehow get your granny’s (or whoever’s) number in order to be able to impersonate them. How can that be legal? Shouldn’t the real owner of the number have any right to object to that?

Caller ID’s just not that useful anyway. Many people elect to hide their number on outgoing calls.

Yeah, but according to the website posted, anyone can sign up for an account with this service and disguise who they really are.

Not just bill collectors but telemarketers…

All right, bill collector= bad example. What I really don’t like is the ability to spoof caller ID and represent yourself as someone you ain’t.

The service just allows clients to specify the number & name they want to appear to be calling from. They leave it to them to make up something they think is likely to get answered.

It’s just a voice-over IP service. Ethics aside, it seems like a dubious venture. The company has no proprietary claim on the technology – they’re just exploiting something hackers have been doing for free. (Rerouting packets from a VOIP phone and modifying them on the fly.) If it’s allowable, why wouldn’t PIs and Collections folks just do it themselves? It’s script-kiddie easy.

There are additional privacy concerns because so many voicemail systems allow access by just taking the caller ID info as gospel, so that people don’t have to enter their passwords from their home phone.

I have a cell phone and a wired phone. The wired phone gets pult on evreything. The cell number goes to specific people. The wire phone goes automatically to my answering machine, where I generally let it go to the machine,and if the person leaving a message is soneone i want or need to speak with, I then aanswer the phone. I never make outgoing calls on my cell to anybody who doesnt have my cell number. For 3 years, this has worked admirably andd nobody not iin my cell phone book has ever caalled my cell phone…of course for about a month I got calls for some idiot named David, but as I am not david, nor is davids voice on my outgoing voicemail message they finally gave up.

Anybody here thinking of the Sneetches? Sell the home consumer a device that shows caller IDS, then provide a way for callers to withhold them, sell the home consumer a way to block caller ids, then sell the callers a way to spoof them?

Next will be a ‘premium’ service where you pay a bit more to be able to block spoofed caller IDS.

Every time I have had a Bill collector call me, it has been for:

  1. Another person with a similar name. This is illegal.
  2. An old freind or etc who once lived with me or sued my name as a reference. Also illegal.
  3. The prior resident ( which was 15 years + ago)
  4. The prior person with this number (again, 15 yeasr + ago)
  5. Or someone trying to collect a bill that they have no legal right to collect as I don’t owe it and properly 'disputed it".

Bill collectors are rarely getting ahold of the right person to collect a valid debt. If it was that easy, the original debtor wouldn’t have turned it over to a collection agency.

Larry Mudd wrote

Well, it isn’t really re-routing packets and modifying them. In the old real-phone days, all PBXs trusted each other. When you make a call, your PBX (the big-ass box at the phone company in your city that your phone connects to) sends your phone number to the destination PBX, which then sends the call on to the final phone. If your number is supposed to be blocked, the final PBX is trusted to block it. This privacy is enforced by law through the FCC.

Enter the new world of Voice over IP (VoIP). In this world, the PBXs aren’t required to follow any laws, and they aren’t all owned by massive companies like AT&T. Some are simply a linux box sitting in some guy’s bedroom (me for example). These VoIP PBXs can connect through the internet to “real” PBXs and send whatever source phone number they want.

Also, as a side note, with a VoIP PBX on the receiving side, you can see blocked caller-id numbers, something which is a MUCH bigger security issue than the one pointed out in the OP, in my opinion.

Also, this whole business is beyond a hackers-only domain. Many VoIP providers offer this same service to anybody. VoicePulse and Nufone offered this in July of this year, and likely still do.

For anyone interested in building their own, check out