This year, the Georgia Legislature may pass a bill to end what is known as “spoofing.” What is spoofing you say?
Telemarketers use “spoofing” technology to contact consumers. Spoofing allows for telemarketing numbers to appear as though they are calling from a local or familiar number. This action makes it more likely that consumers will answer their calls. However, these numbers are usually fake. If you try to call that number back, it either rings and rings and rings...or simply disconnects.
Criminals use this technology in all ways. They can harass a person by calling (or texting) them repeatedly from a fake number. I have also seen cases where the person calls a school with a bomb threat, from a spoofed phone number. It is incredibly hard for law enforcement to trace that phone number back to the criminal.
The practice of “spoofing” throughout the United States is common. Now that cell phones have taken over landlines, the providers such as Google Voice and What’s App have allowed people to have as many additional numbers as they want, complaints to the Federal Communications Commission have skyrocketed with over 200,000 complaints each year. The FCC has also put together a little video that explains this worldwide problem that I’ve posted here: SPOOFING
In Georgia, State Representative Rick Williams wants to change that. He said he would introduce a bill that will allow a $2,000 fine against any business or person who provides inaccurate Caller ID information with the intent of defrauding or scamming Georgia residents. Of course, my question for Rep. Rick Williams would be how would he find the spoofers?
Let’s pretend this happens to you. The first step is to call the police and file a report. Then, the police have to investigate this number and find the original caller, who is likely outside the United States. In my opinion, this proposed law has no teeth and no incentive to even call the police. Add an incentive to report these spoofers and you got yourself a deal.
The general assembly will consider this bill in January 2020 when they meet in Georgia for its annual legislative session.