I’ve just had a scam telephone call. It came through on my mobile phone and I’ve blocked the number it came from. However, that doesn’t change the fact that my day was interrupted and somebody, somewhere thinks that they can try to rip me off.
I find that more than a little annoying, especially as I have been very careful about who gets hold of my number since taking up the contract years ago.
So I decided to do a little digging on the number. It can’t have been used for the scam for long as it has a relatively clean internet profile. As there were no other complaints online against this number, I decided to disable the caller ID on my mobile and call them back. Unfortunately, as I had predicted, I got the voice message saying the number was invalid. So that meant it had been a spoofed caller ID.
In the UK, Reverse Directory Lookups do not exist. To trace subscriber details from a telephone number is illegal as it requires access to information not normally available to the public. In this case it would have made no difference as it was a fake number, but in this day and age, surely there must be some sort of way to identify the service provider originating the incoming call if not the subscriber themselves.
So I am appealing to telecoms engineers out there. Is there anything within the public telephone system message headers, protocols or routing tables that can identify the country of origin, city, or genuine subscriber number hidden by a spoofed entry? If so, are there any publicly available apps that can extract this information from a voice call prior to the call being answered?
After 142 years of telephones you would have thought there would be a way of identifying those scam calls wouldn’t you? Of course, that would require the co-operation of the telecoms providers’ cooperation wouldn’t it.