A Tulsa senator has filed legislation to crack down on the growing problem of caller ID spoofing. State Sen. James A. Williamson said ID spoofing enables perpetrators to harass others and even use the technology to commit crimes that can bilk individuals and companies out of thousands of dollars.
“It is shocking how easy it is for someone to go on the Internet or call a 1-800 number and for just a few dollars, subscribe to a service that let’s them trick the people they call,” explained Williamson, R-Tulsa. “They can make it look like the call is coming from your doctor, your bank or any other number and then fraudulently obtain personal information.”
Senate Bill 712 would create the “Anti-Caller ID Spoofing Act.” The legislation would make it a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $10,000 per incident or both. Rep. Sue Tibbs will be the House author of the legislation.
“This bill is very important to my district, which has a large number of older citizens who are especially targeted for these fraudulent activities,” said Tibbs, R-Tulsa.
The websites that sell caller ID spoofing services even offer the ability to disguise the caller’s voice and
make the person sound like someone of the opposite sex. One such website advertises that their service is, “…fun and inexpensive, easy to use and fast to set up!”
“Some of these companies have claimed their service is for entertainment purposes, but caller ID spoofing is no laughing matter,” Williamson said. “ID spoofing can be used for credit card fraud, to avoid compliance of state and federal telemarketing do-not-call lists, or to harass people while hiding the caller’s true identity. It simply should be against the law, and if SB 712 is approved, it will be.”