Crank calling with fake caller id?
December 26, 2005 7:30 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to fake someone's caller ID to place a crank call?

I think this just happened to me. It was my partner's cellphone number and name ID. I won't go into the details of the "call." I think it must have been an old recording, of him and someone else talking, etc., making me believe that his redial button just got pressed and he called me back by accident without realizing it or hearing me saying "Hello? Hello? Hello?" A rudimentary google seems to confirm that this is possible with current technologies. Is it? How elaborate of a hoax would this be to pull off? is there any way we can possibly figure out exactly what happened and where this call originated??
posted by melixxa600 to Technology (9 answers total)
Yes, it's a common phreak trick. There are several technically complicated ways to do it, most of which require access to business lines (like at a big company with a Private Branch Exchange), but it's much easier to use a service like this.
posted by phrontist at 7:34 PM on December 26, 2005

I doubt it. Your phone number is associated to a specific physical port on the central office switch it's connected to. The switch transmits that number thorugh a separate signaling network when you make a call. There shouldn't be any way to hack that.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:35 PM on December 26, 2005

Sorry, I thought you said a wireline phone.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:37 PM on December 26, 2005

Completely possible, before The Screen Savers on TechTV died I remember watching a segment where Kevin Mitnick was able to do it from a cell phone in seconds, with the call ID showing any number he wanted.
posted by smitt at 7:44 PM on December 26, 2005

ditto what smitt said, I saw the Screen Savers episode where Mitnick called the host's cellphone and the caller ID said the call was coming from the White House.
posted by FortyT-wo at 7:54 PM on December 26, 2005

Yes, Mitnick is extremely fond of this "hack" (man, I hate that guy) and seems to drag it out at any opportunity. He mentions it quite a few times in his book on lying, or, in the preferred nomenclature, "Social Engineering".
posted by phrontist at 8:13 PM on December 26, 2005

Yes, it's completely possible. (Link goes to article explaining how. And potential consequences.)
posted by disillusioned at 8:41 PM on December 26, 2005

This is easy to do with some of the VOIP services.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:22 AM on December 27, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. We're checking into the whole thing further to see who could have done this.
posted by melixxa600 at 9:30 AM on December 27, 2005

« Older Help me find a new call-forwarding service.   |   Homebrew on my phone? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.