'Caller ID Phone Spoofing' Complaint Filed

Zebrowski filed FCC complaint on behalf of Rocklanders who received telemarketing and scammer phone calls despite being on the “Do Not Call” registry.


Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-New City) filed a complaint Wednesday with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on behalf of several Rockland residents who have been victims of “Caller ID phone spoofing.”

Phone spoofing is the use of software to mask the caller’s identity or phone number by displaying a different number on the recipient’s caller ID. Telemarketers and scammers often use the practice to circumvent the “Do Not Call” registry.

All of the alleged phone spoofing calls were made to phone numbers included on the Do Not Call registry, which was created to protect consumers from unwanted calls.  Zebrowski sent detailed complaints from two county residents to the FCC.

Zebrowski said the spoofing software enables individuals to circumvent the Do Not Call registry and defraud or harass unsuspecting residents.  The numbers that are displayed on the recipient’s caller ID typically do not exist.

According to Zebrowski, despite enactment of The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 incidents of phone spoofing continue and the ability to track down the offenders is growing more difficult. The law prohibits caller ID spoofing with intent to defraud and carries penalties of up to $10,000 per violation. 

Zebrowski asked the FCC to investigate the allegations and take enforcement action against those responsible.

“We need to make sure that the law encompasses all illegal activities involving phone spoofing including harassment and Do Not Call registry violations,” stated Zebrowski. “I asked the FCC to do a thorough investigation into the phone spoofing complaints and if this can be addressed on the State level, I am willing to introduce legislation.” 

According to Zebrowski’s office, the federal law may not be appropriately enforced or it may not be comprehensive enough.

“I urge all residents to take caution when receiving calls from unknown phone numbers and anyone who has been victim of this practice should file a complaint with the FCC,” said Zebrowski, adding his office should also be notified.

Residents who have received these types of calls can file an online complaint for “Telemarketing, Prerecorded Message, Caller ID Spoofing and Do Not Call” with the FCC at www.fcc.gov/complaints or contact the agency at 888-225-5322. Zebrowski’s office can be reached at 845-634-9791.

Rob Green October 18, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Filing complaints does nothing. It's a law with no teeth and minor fines that these telemaketers don't give a hoot about. I get several calls a week to lower my energy bills or mortgage. These are not the spoof phone numbers. When I tell them I am on the do not call list, they hang up and call back another day. One guy even laughed, said "we don't give a s**t about the do not call list" and then hung up. I filed complaints and it does nothing.
Chris October 18, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Be like me and never answer the phone. That is what voicemail is for.
Deejay October 18, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I have a phone that I can program to block up to 30 numbers. The phone rings once, then hangs up. It helps a lot, but a 100 number memory would be great.
Robin Traum October 18, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Chris Apparently one of the ways the callers get people to answer the phone is they program what appears to be a local number with the 845 area code. Then people might be more likely to pick up the phone thinking it could be someone they know. Robin
Michael Dwells October 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM
I've read about this caller ID spoofing at http://www.callercenter.com when I went there to report a telemarketer. This is why I always remain skeptical when answering phone calls, especially when it's anonymous. It's the only option we have to protect ourselves from being scammed.


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