Tuesday, February 24, 2009


When it comes to caller ID for your cell phone there are a couple of options available. We previously did a "buyer beware" post over Trapcall. If you receive a call from an anonymous or blocked caller, Trapcall forwards the call to a 1-800 number. Why? They are taking advantage of a loop-hole in privacy laws that allow a 1-800 number to unblock a call. They then route the call back to your phone using a "spoofing" tool to show the number of the blocked call. For all other caller ID notifications, they will send you a text message after the call. You may know spoofing from your junk email where the sender’s name and address have been falsified to try to get you to believe the email is actually coming from the US government or that prince from Ethiopia. Well, people can do it for your Caller ID as well and its criminal use has lead to a significant increase in the number of cases of identity theft over the past few years.

We’ve heard complaints this service sends a text message after every single call, blocked or not. I don’t know about you, but that would be a lot of text messages for me. If you don’t have unlimited text messaging on your plan, that would amount to a costly little operation. Also, I can’t help but still believe there are people out there who NEED their number blocked for whatever reasons. Whether they’re abuse victims or just have reasons to be concerned with their personal privacy. TrapCall’s "if you’ve got nothing to hide…" argument oversimplifies things and is a complete fallacy.

This whole situation is very similar to a court case in Australia from a few years ago where the telephone companies were disclosing blocked call number to ISPs and it was concluded that those companies were indeed breaching the law. For those of you not in the mood to deal with government loopholes or allowing someone else to receive your calls before you do, you might want to check into some of the other options for caller ID on your cell phone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The text message after a call is optional. You can also have it email you an mp3 of any voicemail which will include the the blocked caller's phone number. This can be sent to any email address. No charge. It sure put an end to anonymous "Mean Girl" phone calls to my teen daughter!