There are a number of apps out there that enable a phone to spoof a caller ID, making calls look like they are coming from a particular number, regardless of the actual originating phone number. This has potentially serious ramifications when you are counting on caller ID to verify that a caregiver is at the client’s home using telephony. It’s really unbelievable that this has become a home care industry issue.
These are marketed as “practical joke” apps that let you playfully fool your friends. Ha Ha! Not! While the apps themselves are not illegal, the use of them to defraud is. Here’s a link to theFCC page that talks about it. Violators are subject to a $10,000 fine per instance.
What to do about this? There is no quick fix, technically, because the phone system itself has been fed incorrect information that is virtually undetectable. GPS based systems have essentially the same potential for manipulation as telephone-based ones.
However, you can definitely raise the bar in terms of the consequences. It is, on every level, a criminal thing to pretend to be caring for a client when they are not even present. Caregivers should be informed of the gravity of doing such a thing and that you have every intention of pursuing justice if they do.
People are clever and, when it comes down to it, you can’t stop people from trying to game the system if they are so inclined. What you can do is consistently attract and retain the best caregivers while weeding out the bad apples.