To showcase the ease of which number spoofing can be done, the episode saw Presenter Matt Allwright host Luke Potter from SureCloud in his home garage, in line with current social distancing measures. Matt simply gave Luke his phone number then, just minutes later, Matt received a phone call which appeared to be from the well-advertised NHS number – 0300 013 5000 – however, it was SureCloud making the spoof phone call.
Number spoofing was also demonstrated through text messages, when Nicky Fox received a text message about contact tracing information, which again appeared to have come from a trusted NHS number. This text message also included a link claiming to contain more information from the NHS, which Luke explained could be a malicious link from a hacker if this was a real case of number spoofing.
This all serves to highlight the fact that despite a checklist being provided by the government to ensure you don’t get scammed, it isn’t a failproof list, as it advises you should expect to hear from the NHS test and trace numbers that are easily imitated, so people need to be extra vigilant. Contract tracing technology has the potential to be extremely helpful in the current situation, but it is important people are aware of the scammers that are taking advantage of it.