Stopping Phone Spoofing

Assembly Bill 1132 (Gabriel) would prohibit impersonating a government agency phone number

Your caller ID shows an incoming call from a government agency phone number. But the call is from a fraudster using a smartphone app to impersonate a police department or other government agency’s phone number to mislead you into providing personal information or making a payment. “Phone Spoofing” or Caller ID Spoofing” has become an epidemic, with tens of thousands of consumer complaints filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

Recent examples of phone spoofing include impersonating police department phone numbers to demand payment to clear fake warrants, and impersonating health agencies and Social Security Administration to obtain confidential Social Security numbers.

CFC-sponsored Assembly Bill 1132 (Gabriel) would make it unlawful in California to use caller ID information to impersonate a state, federal or local government agency phone. The legislation would create fines up to $10,000 for each instance of a violation of the phone spoofing violation.

On April 10, the bill advanced through the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance with unanimous and bipartisan support. It will be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee next. Read CFC’s sponsor letter