What is spoofing?

When a caller deliberately falsifies information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise his or her identity, it’s referred to as spoofing.


Some spoofing is used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information to be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally. Scam callers often use neighbor spoofing, for instance, to display a phone number on your caller ID that is similar to your own for the purpose of increasing the likelihood that you will answer the call. A scam caller displaying a phone number with your local area code or prefix despite the call coming from a different country would be an example of neighbor spoofing.


While spoofing is often used in relation to scam calls, it does have legal uses. For instance, a business may display its toll-free call-back number or a doctor calling a patient from his or her mobile phone may display the office number rather than a personal phone number.