Please be aware that we have received reports from members of the general public who have received phone calls that appeared to have come from Fermilab phones (630-840-XXXX). In these cases, it is evident that these phone numbers were spoofed, meaning, the phone system from which the call was made was configured to appear as if it was coming from a Fermilab number.
Unfortunately, there isn’t anything we at the lab can do to prevent some other entity from spoofing our phone numbers. Newer phone systems can configure themselves to appear as if they are coming from any phone number. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is working with phone providers to enforce more checks on caller IDs, via its STIR/SHAKEN project (See https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-20-42A1_Rcd.pdf). The intent of the project is to force all phone service providers to comply by the end of June.
Here’s advice from the FCC:
If you get calls from people saying your number is showing up on their caller ID, it’s likely that your number has been spoofed. We suggest first that you do not answer any calls from unknown numbers, but if you do, explain that your telephone number is being spoofed and that you did not actually make any calls. You can also place a message on your voicemail letting callers know that your number is being spoofed. Usually, scammers switch numbers frequently. It is likely that within hours they will no longer be using your number.