Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday proposed adoption of new rules banning caller ID spoofing of text messages and robocalls originating outside the U.S.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter was among the more than 40 state attorneys general to call for the FCC to adopt these new anti-spoofing rules and continue its “multi-pronged approach to battle the noxious intrusion of illegal robocalls, as well as malicious caller ID spoofing.”
The commission will vote on the rules at its Aug. 1 meeting.
“Scammers often robocall us from overseas, and when they do, they typically spoof their numbers to try and trick consumers,” Pai said in a statement. “Call center fraudsters often pretend to be calling from trusted organizations and use pressure tactics to steal from Americans. We must attack this problem with every tool we have. With these new rules, we’ll close the loopholes that hamstring law enforcement when they try to pursue international scammers and scammers using text messaging.”
The FCC received more than 35,000 complaints about caller ID spoofing in the first six months of 2019.
The new rules would ensure that the agency is able to bring enforcement actions against bad actors who spoof text messages and those who seek out victims in this country from overseas.
The Truth in Caller ID Act prohibits anyone from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information (“spoofing”) with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value. However, until passage of the RAY BAUM’S Act last year, the Truth in Caller ID Act did not extend to text messages or international calls.
If adopted at the commission’s August meeting, the chairman’s proposed new rules would extend these prohibitions to text messages, calls originating from outside the United States to recipients within the United States, and additional types of voice calls, such as one-way interconnected VoIP calls.
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