FCC Adopts Rules Banning Spoofing of Texts and Foreign Calls

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has issued a press release announcing the agency’s adoption of new rules banning malicious caller ID spoofing of text messages and foreign calls.  Intended to close a loophole that previously prevented the Commission from pursuing scammers sending spoofed text messages and international fraudsters making spoofed calls to Americans, the new rules will allow the agency to bring enforcement actions against these bad actors.

The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 had prohibited anyone from causing a caller ID service to knowingly transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information (i.e., “spoofing”) with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value.  However, until passage of the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services (RAY BAUM’s) Act in 2018, the Truth in Caller ID Act did not extend to text messages or international calls.  These news rules extend these prohibitions to text messages, calls originating from outside the United States to recipients within the United States, and additional types of voice calls, such as one-way Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls.

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