Murphy Legislation Hangs Up on Caller ID Fraud - 5/4/2006 THE OFFICE OF CONGRESSMAN TIM MURPHY (PA-18) 322 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-2301 http://murphy.house.gov/ Contact: Mark Carpenter May 4, 2006
Murphy Legislation Hangs Up on Caller ID FraudEdit
(Washington, D.C.) - People and organizations purposely disguising their phone numbers to make it appear as if someone else is calling will soon be breaking the law. Congressmen Tim Murphy (PA-18) today introduced legislation making the practice, known as "call spoofing" or Caller ID fraud, illegal and punishable with prison time.
"Caller ID fraud is a serious and growing problem that allows the caller to hide their true identity," Congressman Tim Murphy said. "Through new technology, practically anyone with a computer can commit Caller ID fraud, either as a prank or a more serious offense such as stalking. One case lead police in New Jersey to surround a house thinking there was a hostage situation because of a call appearing to come from inside. This was a waste of valuable police resources and risked lives."
The Preventing Harassment through Outbound Number Enforcement (PHONE) bill makes it illegal for anyone to knowingly modify caller ID information with the intent to mislead the recipient of the telephone call. Anyone caught could face up to five years in prison and fines
"Today it is far too easy for criminals to obtain telephone equipment, special calling cards, and even numerous Internet sites to alter the number appearing on your caller ID," Murphy continued. "A person could easily disguise themselves as a bank employee by having a bank's name and phone number appear on a person's Caller ID. A customer of the bank might unknowingly give the caller personal financial information that could lead to identity theft and financial ruin.
"Current law does not protect families from receiving these deceptive and threatening calls. Lengthy jail times and steep fines, in addition to the penalties for associated crimes such identity theft, will make a person think twice before committing Caller ID fraud.
"The PHONE bill puts an end to the harassment and danger caused by Caller ID fraud. Every family deserves the security of knowing for sure who they are talking to on the other end of the phone."
Office of Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
322 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515