FCC Adopts Rule Increasing Caller ID Spoofing Enforcement Options

The rule allows the commission to enforce against caller ID spoofing in text messages and through international calls.

8/6/2019 2:00 PM

FCC Adopts Rule Increasing Caller ID Spoofing Enforcement Options

The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules banning malicious caller ID spoofing of text messages and foreign calls during its Aug. 1 meeting, according to a news release.

“These new rules will close a loophole in the law that prevented the agency from pursuing scammers sending spoofed text messages and international fraudsters making spoofed calls to Americans,” the FCC reports.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed adoption of rule amendments during the July 11 SHAKEN/STIR Robocall Summit focused on implementation of the caller ID authentication framework by providers.

According to the news release:

“The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 prohibits anyone from causing a caller ID service to knowingly transmit 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.

The new rules 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 VoIP calls. Fraudsters working in overseas call centers often pretend to be calling from trusted organizations and use pressure tactics to deceive and defraud American consumers of money and personal information.

Caller ID spoofing is used in these cases by the scammers to make their phone number appear to match the organization they are pretending to represent. The FCC’s new rules will prohibit such malicious spoofing from foreign robocallers. The new rules will allow the agency to bring enforcement actions against bad actors who spoof text messages and those who seek out victims in this country from overseas.”

During the meeting, Pai noted the passage of the new rules are part of several FCC efforts to fight malicious caller ID spoofing as well as illegal robocalls—including the “SHAKEN/STIR” caller ID authentication framework implementation this year and the Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) on Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls, default call blocking and the reassigned numbers database.

The chairman’s proposal approved Aug. 1 follows a bipartisan call from more than 40 state attorneys general 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,” according to a news release from the FCC.

While ACA continues advocacy with the FCC to ensure regulatory efforts do not impact the need for legitimate businesses to contact consumers using automated technology, the association is also supportive of efforts to crack down on illegal and bad actors making spoofed calls.

Related Content from ACA International:

ACA Leads Effort to Ensure Legitimate Call Lines Remain Open to Consumers

FCC Report Details Efforts to Stop Illegal Robocalls While Protecting Legal Communication from Legitimate Businesses

FCC Proposes Rulemaking Banning Illegal Text Messages and International Calls

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