A bill sponsored by Rep. Karen Boback (Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) that would increase penalties for those found guilty of caller identification spoofing passed the House unanimously on Tuesday.
House Bill 979 would make it a misdemeanor for any person to cause false caller identification information to be displayed on a recipient’s telephone, with the intent to harass or defraud the call recipient.
Spoofing occurs when individuals use technology to make it appear that a call is coming from a number or business other than that of the actual caller. Spoofing can be used to defraud, harass or induce call recipients into divulging sensitive or confidential information, especially senior citizens.
“Caller identification spoofing is a dubious practice that often results in Pennsylvanians divulging private, sensitive information to individuals intending to do harm,” said Boback. “The intent of this legislation is to discourage this unacceptable behavior, and I encourage anyone who believes they are a victim of caller identification spoofing to contact their local authorities.”
The bill must now be considered by the Senate.