Check out our just-posted advisory offering an overview of the FCC Report and Order adopting rules implementing the Truth in Caller ID Act.  The Act, and now the FCC’s rules implementing it, target “spoofing,” i.e., manipulating the phone number displayed by caller ID devices so that call recipients see a number other than that from which a call originated.  In particular, the statute and regulations prohibit spoofing accompanied by an intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value, and allows the FCC to impose substantial penalties for violations.

As the FCC’s R&O explains, malicious spoofing practices range from those involved in attempts to gain unauthorized access to voicemail accounts, to identity theft, to stalking, and even to false emergency calls to law enforcement for the purpose of eliciting responses from SWAT teams.  Our discussion of how the Act and rules seek to combat such malfeasance, and how they avoid ensnaring legitimate practices, can be found here.