Mississippi lawmakers are attempting a crackdown on caller ID spoofing

Mississippi lawmakers are attempting a crackdown on caller ID spoofing

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Are you tired of telemarketers calling and tricking you into thinking it’s a local number? It’s called “caller ID spoofing” and it’s a growing problem across the country.

“I get about five phone calls a day," said Monique Davis. "I’ve blocked I know 50 numbers within the last four months. They’re really annoying.”

A pair of Senate and House bills address the latest headache of spoofing. Even if you don’t know the term, you likely know the drill. A call from a familiar area code. But when you pick up, it’s a telemarketer or even a scammer.

“It’s aggravating the most because you think it’s an important call and you stop what you’re doing to answer the call and it’s somebody trying to sell you something or somebody saying you owe them some money,” added Mozell Fleming.

Senator Sally Doty sponsored the Senate bill to up the penalties for the issue.

“It’s a real problem that’s real aggravating," said Doty. "It makes you not want to answer your phone. It’s an infringement on our rights, I believe.”

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley says the law is needed because their hands are tied.

“Right now, if we get a call or complaint from someone and the number has been spoofed, there’s nothing we can do about that but just forward it to the federal government,” described Presley.

Mississippi passed an anti-spoofing law almost a decade ago but it was challenged and struck down in court. The newly proposed law would mirror the federal legislation, so the callers would get slapped with double the penalties.

“These folks are not Sunday School teachers," explained Presley. "They’re criminals. They’re scam artists. They’re people who are evading the law. And so it is tough, because many times they’ll set up one number and the next day they’ll sell that number and change. So, it’s tough for our investigators sometimes to track those down.”

But the new law would give them more tools to go after those callers.

There are also bills that would expand the restrictions of the state’s no-call list. If passed, it would allow businesses to register for the no-call list.

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