24 May 2007

Can I do this from my phone too?

If identity theft is the huge problem the media says it is... maybe the phone company shouldn't be allowing corporations to spoof other people's phone numbers.

A recent telemarketing-style poll, asking people how Daryl Kramp has performed as the area MP, caused major concerns for the local Conservative member.

It was not the results of the poll which caused Kramp to cringe but, instead, the fact that recipients of the phone calls were led to believe the call was coming directly from his constituency office on Millennium Parkway.

The calls were in fact originating from an Ottawa company hired by the Prince Edward-Hastings MP, but a clerical error resulted in Kramp's office number showing on telephones equipped with call display.

A spokesperson for Protus, who refused to give her name, said there was an error made when the phone calls were made and the number displayed "defaulted to (Kramp's) account phone number, which was his office number."
This seems like a huge hole for scammers and e-hackers to exploit. A boiler room scam that appears to be originating from your bank, or the local police station would have instant credibility to anyone with call display on their phone.

Anybody out there have any contacts at Ma Bell?


UPDATE: Let's see what Protus says

I contacted Protus via the form on their website. Let's see if they choose to answer questions about this... or just duck and cover.
Thank you for taking the time to fill out our Form. One of our Account Executives will be contacting you within 48 hours.

PROTUS REPLIES: And yes, they spoof clients numbers...

Apparently, it's standard operating procedure...
In response to your query, like all service providers, Protus makes calls on behalf of our clients.

To help the call recipients identify and reach the originator of the message (our client), valid caller-id information needs to be provided by each of our clients.

Our operating processes and controls are designed to ensure that all of our calls are accurate and comply with regulations.


Sue Rutherford

Director Marketing Communications
Protus IP Solutions Inc.
2379 Holly Lane, Suite 210
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1V 7P2
I will be following this up with Ms. Rutherford.

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OMMAG said...

Good point! Perhaps directory information should be lawfully protected from sale as well?
30 plus years in telecom says the phone companies are liable for abuse of information they use or allow to be used in efforts to harm the consumer!
Class action suits should be the order of the day!
In this case I know exactly what the polster did!
They submitted the number of the target as the DNIC on the order forms. Possibly with collaboration of Bell personnel. In any case it is the Carrier's responsibility to ensure the accuracy of orders processed and in this case the victim should have full legal recourse!

Sue their asses OFF Kramp!

OMMAG said...

Sorry that's ANI....
Same recourse for Kramp though!

Neo Conservative said...

ani... dnic?

for those of us not employed in telecom, or who didn't spend those high school years phone phreakin', that'd mean..?


Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, it's quite easy to spoof phone numbers in caller ID's. I once saw a presentation about Asterix, a Linux-based PBX (multi-line phone system) and setting a return number was an option. That was several years ago, but the topic of spoofing caller ID numbers was briefly brought up naturally by the nature of the feature. If I correctly remember, a multi-line phone system might use several incoming lines, so specifying the caller id associated with your outgoing calls is important and is not supposed to be a misleading, but that depends on how it is used.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I can do this from my phone. At work we have our own telecom server/switch and I regularly change it to "blocked" when I don't want someone to know who it is that's calling. It's easy enough to change it to say anything I want it to. Kind of scary but we're not a big company and the telecom software we have isn't that expensive and worst of all, Telus (the incumbent out here) can't do a thing about it!
--Bacardi Breezer.

Neo Conservative said...

"anon said... It's easy enough to change it to say anything I want it to."

something to think about, the next time you get a call from your cough, cough financial institution asking personal questions.

our modern world... sigh.


Anonymous said...

Checkout this site offering caller id spoofing services, and caller id spoofing proection


Anonymous said...

This company offers caller id spoofing and sms spoofing internationally. Pretty trivial with companies like this offering it for 10c a minute.

Neo Conservative said...

yup... the new entrepreneurs.