Back in the pre-mobile phone era days, prank calling your friends and family from a landline was pretty common. There was a time when caller ID didn’t exist, and the recipient had no idea where the call was coming from. These days, fake calls, particularly robocalls and spam calls, are a big problem, and prank calling isn’t as popular as it used to be.
If you do want to spoof a call, though, there are apps that can provide you with fake numbers that can mask your identity. You can use these for the occasional April Fools’ Day prank, but they aren’t feasible for long-term usage. You might also want to fake a call to yourself to get out of an awkward situation like a bad date or a boring event. A quick search on the Google Play Store reveals plenty of Android apps that claim to provide a fake phone number, but not all of them are reliable.
Is call spoofing illegal?
While spoofing a call might seem harmless, it can qualify as an illegal activity. The “Truth in Caller ID Act” prevents the use of misleading or fake caller ID information “with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value.” So, while an occasional prank call is okay, you can face charges if you spoof a call while pretending to be someone else and obtain personal information that’s used to defraud a person or harm them. The penalty for illegal spoofing is up to $10,000 per violation, so keep that in mind before you make a call.
It’s worth noting that spoofing a call to yourself is perfectly fine, and this only applies to spoofing other people. Either way, it’s best to educate yourself on the local laws regarding call spoofing before planning an elaborate prank. With that out of the way, here’s a roundup of some of Android’s best call spoofing apps.
SpoofCard is among the most reliable call spoofing apps. You’ll need to sign up with your actual phone number to get started, and the app gives you five credits for free. You can then enter the phone number you want to dial and the phone number you’re pretending to call from. Keep in mind that if you want to place a call from a legitimate phone number, it might show up in the person’s caller ID.
SpoofCard has a few other neat tricks, including skipping a phone call and leaving a voicemail. You can also choose to add background noise to the call, with options like screams, airport, dog barking, sirens, and more available. The app also includes a voice changer feature, letting you change your voice to a man or woman. SpoofCard also includes a call recording feature, but you should use this with caution. Some states in the U.S. require all parties to consent before a call can be recorded.
SpoofCard also lets you send texts from a spoofed number. Every feature you use on SpoofCard uses credits, so you’ll need to purchase more after you go through your five free credits. You can get 45 credits for $9.95, 100 credits for $19.95, and 600 credits for $99.95.
Fake Me A Call
If you’re in a situation that you desperately need to get out of, a fake emergency phone call will usually do the trick. That’s where Fake Me A Call comes in handy, letting you fake a call to yourself. By default, the app has two fake callers: John Rambo and Santa Claus, both with toll-free numbers displayed. These are just placeholders, though, and you have the option to add your contact name and number to make the fake call look realistic. You can also give the app access to your contacts, although it’s best not to allow this.
You can then choose which caller you want to receive a call from and select when you want the fake call. There are options ranging from five seconds to five minutes, and you can even add a custom timer. The app has other settings too, including the ability to change the ringtone, use a saved audio file from your phone, vibrate for incoming calls, and show incoming calls in full screen. You can even choose which fake call screen appears when you receive the call.
For the app to work, you have to give it permission to draw over other apps, so confirm the prompt when it appears. The only downside to this app is that it’s filled with ads, and some features are restricted to the pro version, but you can pay a one-time fee of $15.99 to unlock everything.
Dingtone isn’t a dedicated call spoofing app, but it does give you access to a free second number of your choice from anywhere in the world. You can choose a random number, or a number according to an area code. It’s worth noting that these phone numbers are cloud numbers that are exclusive to you, so this app can’t be used to spoof someone else’s number.
Dingtone lets you call or text any number at low rates. You’re given five credits to start with, but you can earn additional credits by playing games, watching videos, performing tasks, and inviting other friends to use the app. You can also buy credits if you run out. The app has a call recording feature, too, but you should check the laws in your state to find out if all-party consent is required. While Dingtone doesn’t offer all the features of other call spoofing apps, the ability to call from an unknown number should get the job done for the occasional prank.