My talking points on HB214 Anti-Caller ID Spoofing bill

HB214 Caller ID Spoofing Bill

http://le.utah.gov/DynaBill/dbill.jsp?bill=HB0214&trackadd=true

This is my 3rd Identity Theft related bill in 3 years

This bill started out as an Identity Theft bill but has been focused to cover spoofing of Caller ID for phone and text messaging.

  • This is a serious crime that is happening nationwide.
  • Let me explain what this is: When you receive a phone call or text message on a modern phone you are delivered a phone number which represent the phone number of the person that is calling or texting you.
  • In some cases there is also a name that is displayed as the name of the person or organization that is calling you.
  • However, there are techniques used by some to deceive you and trick you into believe that they are someone other than who they really are. 
  • It is been documented that scammers will use the Caller ID information to get their victims think they are receiving a call from the IRS, Utility Companies, respected charities, and even law enforcement.
  • There is even a type of fraud known as Swatting where perpetrators call law enforcement and use the caller ID of someone else to call out Law Enforcement to respond to claims of a crime being committed.
  • At times this has led to the accidental death of the person whose Caller ID was used in a fraudulent way.

The activity of spoofing or faking someone else’s Caller ID is against Federal law if a significant theft of dollars is involved. I have heard that the threshold is $1 Million. I was at a technology conference a few years ago and spoke with the FBI Director over Cybercrime in the Western US. He described the limitations on prosecuting this and other similar laws.

  • For this reason, I think i`t is important to codify this bill in Utah State Law and make it a state crime.

This bill:

1)     makes it a state crime to use caller ID to say that you are someone else

2)     allow for civil damages

3)     This is the same for phone calls and text messaging

This bill HB214 does not cover email equivalent but I am aware of a senate bill that does that.

Amended in committee to require “intent to harm”

 

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