Prank call and caller ID
November 10, 2010 5:26 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to get a recorded prank call and the number on your caller id shows a fake number (business number)? At the end of the recorded message it said something like but not sure of the exact name. Is there any way to find out where call originated?
posted by sandyp to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Totally possible to get a call like that -- and there are tons of sites out there that allow people to send pre-recorded and/or customized prank calls. Beyond finding out the name of the originating site (which you were able to do if you'd listened closer) there isn't really anything you can do.
posted by davejay at 5:29 PM on November 10, 2010

Response by poster: Just trying to figure out if they could actually use another phone number to show on your caller ID because this happened in the middle of the night and it used the company where I work's number. I figured it was a internet prank because it was a recording and no one would be at the office at that time to make a prank call like this.
posted by sandyp at 5:48 PM on November 10, 2010

Yes, it's totally possible to spoof Caller ID. Easy, even.
posted by brainmouse at 5:53 PM on November 10, 2010

call your phone company's harassment desk, they can help
posted by paradroid at 6:16 PM on November 10, 2010

The design of the Caller ID system from the very beginning necessitated the ability of the caller to have complete control over what shows up. Imagine you are a large company with your own office phone system (PBX). Individual employees might each have their own direct lines, as well as a public phone number that collects all incoming calls and routes them to the appropriate voicemail/service agents. Such a system would not work at all if Caller ID provided the accurate phone number of the person calling --- everyone's private lines would be revealed to every caller, and people would be able to call back skipping the normal means of entry, which could potentially cost those employees a lot of time and effort. So from the very beginning the system was designed with the assumption that the person connecting to the telephone network gets to entirely decide what is displayed on the Caller ID so that companies can make it seem like people are calling from the public number and not a private extension.

These days you don't have to be a large company to connect to the public phone network in the same way, you just need a VoIP provider and some software and you can make calls with absolutely anything in the Caller ID field that you want. There is no restriction, and no enforcement. You've just stumbled onto a prank/joke site that automates this process to allow for placing of calls without the hassle of actually signing up with a VoIP provider.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:46 PM on November 10, 2010

Best answer: FWIW, at least you know it was someone you work with who elected to do this, and that the prank system they use allows a person to tell them which number to spoof on the caller ID. So that should help you narrow down the culprits.

and sorry I was so vague, by "totally possible to get a call like that" I mean a call with spoofed caller ID"
posted by davejay at 9:37 PM on November 10, 2010

If you use voip, it's a breeze to spoof callerid.
posted by empath at 8:24 AM on November 11, 2010

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