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House Passes Bill to Minimize Caller ID Fraud

April 14, 2010

The fact that fraud exists should be absolutely no surprise to anyone; I know I've dealt with it personally when my debit card was stolen a few years ago, and someone went on a fun shopping spree on me.

And, for those who know - and have experienced - fraud, they also know the repercussions for those who commit these extremely inconvenient crimes is minimal - if they are even caught.

But now, reports have surfaced of another fraud that has recently been on the rise; but this time, someone's doing something about it.

A new bill that passed under legislation today makes it now illegal for individuals to use false caller ID with the intent of tricking people into revealing personal information or otherwise causing harm.

The measure gives the Federal Communications Commission authority to develop regulations to enforce the new law. Violators could be subject to $10,000 in fines and up to a year in prison.

According to the backers of the bill - passed by voice vote - said that caller ID "spoofing" is a growing threat. And what do you suppose they are attributing the cause of this new crime?

Technology of course!

Backers of the bill are claiming that new technology is making it inexpensive and easy to change the name and number that phone call recipients see on their caller ID.

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the chief sponsor of the bill with Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, cited a case last year where New York City police uncovered an identity theft ring that used caller ID spoofing to steal more than $15 million from 6,000 victims.

With this new bill, let's hope there's one less scam out there that hopefully diminishes in this difficult fraud-fueled environment.


Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Web editor, covering CRM and workforce technologies, and anchor of its daily TMC Newsroom video broadcast. Kelly also writes about eco-friendly "green" technologies and smart grids, compiling TMCnet's weekly e-Newsletters on those topics, as well as the cable industry. To read more of Kelly's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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