Caller ID 911 Spoofing

Your phone rings and the Caller ID displays “911”.

You answer it immediately because “911” is synonymous with emergencies. The operator tells you that someone close to you has been a severe accident.  You are very shaken and concerned. The operator proceeds to ask you several personal questions to help them with the care of your loved one.

You get off the phone and urgently call others only to find out that everyone is fine and the call was a fake!

What just happened?

You were the victim of a caller ID spoofing. Criminals can change the display phone number to something different than the actual number they are placing the call from, making it appear to be from any number they want including 911.

What can you do to protect yourself?

When you receive a call from a real 911 call center, it will display as a standard 10-digit telephone number or in some cases “restricted” or “blocked”. If you get a call from “911” do not answer — it’s a scam. If you fall victim to this type of scam, you should contact your local police and the Federal Communications Commission.

About Cybersafe

The Division of Information Technology is dedicated to informing the community of the latest cybersecurity threats. Visit and stay tuned for emails from [email protected] for the latest from the Cybersafe campaign at FIT.

Be aware—and be cybersafe!

Questions? Comments? Email [email protected] or call 212 217.HELP (4357).