16 CFR Part 310: Telemarketing Sales Rule #00031 

Submission Number:
Celia Booth
Initiative Name:
16 CFR Part 310: Telemarketing Sales Rule
Caller Spoofing: Caller Spoofing: My comments to the proposed rulemaking under Title 16 CFR Part 310, as appeared in the Federal Register on 12/15/2010, focus on the negative impact on private citizens related to call spoofing. While the proposed rule addresses call spoofing, the rule fails to address the illegal "hijacking" of a private residence phone number to use as a decoy spoof number to bypass caller ID. This happened to me yesterday and I feel that this should be considered as criminal activity, as it has been incredibly disruptive to both my business and family life. I started receiving irate phone calls on my residence phone line at 1500 EST. By 2100, I had received over 400 calls. I called Verizon and they could only establish a case file, since the guilty party did not call me directly. They explained "Call Spoofing" and suggested that I inform callers that we are both victims and our only recourse was for the people who "returned my call" was to report this intrusion to their phone service provider and set up a trace. Incident reports were also filed with the local police department since one of the callers threatened to report us to the police, which caused my daughter to dissolve into tears. I further filed a report with the FTC. I also posted a blog report on the suspicious phone numbers web site, since my number was already listed on that site. While I promise to prosecute the guilty party to the fullest extent of the law in that blog, the problem with this threat is that call spoofing is not illegal and, in fact, at least six web sites sell call spoofing cards that I have found, so far. I consider this to be criminal activity that violates my right to privacy as well as the other victims who have responded to calls that display my phone number. I urge the FTC to request further data from all telephone service providers to determine the extent of the problem. The Verizon legal department, with whom I filed my report, told me that they get thousands of calls like mine every day. If you need a private citizen to testify in a public forum regarding these comments, please feel free to call me at . Please do not be surprised if you have to leave a message, since I'm letting my telephone's answering function screen calls until the call spoofing response calls recede.