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News Editor

Caller ID scams proliferating

Mar 02, 20062 mins
Data Center

Maybe telephones and privacy rights are simply mutually exclusive.

Fresh on the heels of all the hullabaloo about stolen phone records being sold online, we learn from an Associated Press story today that fraudulent uses of spoofed Caller ID numbers are on the rise, too.

From that story: “In the last few years, Caller ID spoofing has become much easier. Millions of people have Internet telephone equipment that can be set to make any number appear on a Caller ID system. And several Web sites have sprung up to provide Caller ID spoofing services, eliminating the need for any special hardware.”

Security consultant Rob Douglas says what anyone hearing of this might say — there ought to be a law — but Douglas, who follows such matters for a living, tells me that no one has filed appropriate legislation to date.

“Arguably, a few of the bills circulating on phone records would also outlaw Caller ID spoofing — as it is clearly an unfair/deceptive practice,” Douglas says.  “But it would always be best to have a law directly on point.”

We may not need to wait much longer for such action.

“The AP piece got picked up far and wide,” Douglas adds. “So constituents will be ringing the phones of their legislators wanting action.”

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at