Given the staggering statistics, I think we have all been on the receiving end of a random call from someone pretending to be someone else – evidenced by the awkward dialog or the phone number they’re sending to your caller ID.
As the FCC states, “spoofing” is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity.
These calls, rarely unintentional, are usually fraudulent with a malicious intent to obtain (steal) something – like your identity, personal information, or money.
If you think you’ve been the victim of a spoofing scam, you can file a complaint with the FCC by submitting a request at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=39744.
Here’s some helpful information from the FCC website: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id.
How about “robocalls”? Spoofed and robocalls are essentially the same because robocallers typically spoof the phone number they’re calling from. Although there are laws about these 2 issues, and the VoIP and wireless phone service providers are intervening with tech solutions to combat this annoyance, it seems like the perpetrators continue to stay one step ahead.
But don’t fret – technology is being developed to protect you from these unwanted calls. For example, Zultys and Intermedia (our 2 primary cloud-based VoIP providers) have added the ability to block nuisance calls by phone number. And the wireless providers are including “Potential Spam” alerts with these type of calls.
We are here to help! If you have questions, contact your IDeACOM representative for assistance.
And speaking of the FCC, I’d like to shed some light on the Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF), a charge that we all pay every month on our phone bills.
Telecommunications companies must pay a percentage of their interstate end-user revenues to the Universal Service Fund. This percentage is called the contribution factor. The contribution factor changes quarterly, and is increased or decreased depending on the needs of the Universal Service programs.
The FCC increased the FUSF fee from 19.6% to 26.5% this quarter, effective July 1, 2020. This explains why you may have noticed an increase in your monthly phone bill – especially if you pay the same amount every month (not including toll-free or international charges).
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But like I mentioned, this fee is reassessed every quarter.