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How Do I Test Caller ID?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2016
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Learning how to test caller ID is fairly simple and involves asking someone to call your phone. Caller ID is not always right, however, because thieves and pranksters can fake their name and number. If you test caller ID and it does not appear to work, the next step is to ensure the service is enabled on your phone plan. While caller ID is a free service from some telephone companies, others charge their customers on a monthly basis.

To test caller ID to see if it is working, have someone call your phone and let it ring once. Most caller IDs can identify the caller after just one ring. If your friend’s name and number show up, your caller ID is working as expected and should continue to work until you request a disconnection of service. In some cases, the number or both name and number of a person might show up as “private,” usually meaning the caller has hidden this information. This is normal unless it continues to occur when people call and you are sure they are not blocking their information.

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Caller ID is not perfect and is susceptible to certain scams, but this does not mean your caller ID is not working properly. It is possible to spoof a name and phone number, meaning his or her call shows up as something different than what it actually is. For example, a scammer seeking someone’s bank account information will pretend to be a bank employee or a similar person who handles sensitive information. Due to this, some governments recommend never giving banking and other personal information on the phone when you have not dialed your bank instead of the other way around. In this case, you would refuse to give any information to the caller, informing him or her that you will call back later, and then use a reliable number from a banking statement or phone book.

If you test caller ID and it is not working, the first thing to do is confirm that you have this service. Many telephone service companies offer caller ID as an add-on rather than a standard or basic feature of telephone service. Look at your phone plan to see if there is a charge for caller ID or call the customer service number on your latest bill. As long as you have your account information, a customer service representative should be able to tell if the service is enabled for you. If the service is disabled, you will likely be required to pay a monthly fee to have the service, sometimes with an additional but one-time start-up fee.

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