NJ moves to prevent fraudulent caller IDs

A New Jersey Assembly panel has advanced legislation to shield residents from caller ID fraud.

Some callers use technology that alters the name or number that appears on a caller ID display.

The practice known as ID spoofing is not only annoying but can put personal information at risk, said Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, D-Hudson.

“Could you imagine someone altering that caller ID?” Garcia said. “Thinking it’s from Bank of America, a senior citizen or someone who is vulnerable … giving access to credit card information, to Social Security.”

The false caller ID information puts consumers at risk from swindlers seeking personal information, said Mary Lou Bak with the Women’s Literary Club of Bound Brook.

“Told that a family member is in jail or that the IRS requires immediate payment for a tax bill, a person may easily be persuaded to give account information for banks and credit cards,” she said.

If the bill becomes law, transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information would be punishable by a fine of up to $20,000.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.