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Keyword: call

What is Caller ID Spoofing

Spam includes all forms of unwanted communications, including but not limited to unsolicited calls or messages, caller ID spoofing and robocalls. Typically, spam is directed to large numbers of users for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware and more. Learn more about how scammers falsify information to disguise their identity and how you can avoid becoming a victim.

Caller ID spoofing is a process in which the caller knowingly falsifies the information transmitted in the call, such as changing the caller ID to any number other than the actual calling number, in order to disguise the actual number they're calling from. The number that displays on your caller ID may look as though it's coming from a government agency, business or even someone in your contact list, in an attempt to trick you into answering the call.

Caller ID spoofing is increasing throughout the telecommunications industry and includes landlines, mobile devices and IP-based telephone service providers. This is not a carrier-specific issue, anyone can fall prey to caller ID spoofing.

Some callers have legitimate reasons for hiding their information, such as doctor’s offices or law enforcement agencies. However; in most cases the caller's intent is not so innocent. Scammers call from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or government agency that you already trust so you feel safe enough to answer the call. Once they get you on the phone, they will then use scam scripts in an effort to steal money and valuable information from you, such as personally identifiable information, including bank and credit account information, driver’s license numbers, home address, etc.  

A Few Easy Steps to Protect Yourself from Fraud

  1. If you don’t recognize the number, don’t answer the call. If you accidentally answer the call, end the call immediately.
  2. If you answer the call and you feel like it may be suspicious, do not answer any questions or give out any personal information and end the call immediately. Identity thieves often pose as representatives of banks, credit card companies, creditors or government agencies to get account numbers, social security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords and other identifying information. If you suspect the call may have been legitimate, call a customer service or fraud phone number listed on  account statements, or the websites of the company or government agency.
  3. If you have a voicemail account with your phone service, make sure to set a password for accessing your messages. Spammers can hack your voicemail and gain access if you do not set a password for protection.

Additional Resource

Learn more about caller ID spoofing, including additional tips for protecting yourself against fraud and how to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) if you feel you’ve been a victim of a spoofing scam.


By Dave Lykens, Acting Director
Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability

County environmental officials can’t be everywhere, so we appreciate it when people let us know when they see (or smell) something that doesn’t seem right to them. Reports from the public are a great compliment to our water quality monitoring.

The head of a stream.

Know Who to Call

If you see an environmental emergency, call one of the following 24-hour emergency lines:

  • Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Utilities
    Call 410-887-7415 to report sewage overflows from a manhole, pumping station or elsewhere.
  • Maryland Department of the Environment’s Emergency Response Division
    Call 1-866-633-4686 if you come across evidence of a chemical spill or a fish kill.
  • Baltimore County 911 Emergency
    Call 911 to immediately report a dangerous or potentially life-threatening situation. You can also call 911 if you see someone illegally dumping trash and debris.

Report Pollution Online

Piles of garbage bags.

To report less time-critical issues, such as a pile of dumped trash, wash water or other suspicious liquids flowing into a storm drain or stream, contact our Watershed Managers. You can report pollution online or by calling 410-887-5683 during regular business hours (between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.) on weekdays.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017