State Rep. Craig Lipscomb offers legislation to take on phone ‘spoofing,’ ‘scammers’
In an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Thursday, State Rep. Craig Lipscomb (R-Gadsden) offered details on a bill he is proposing that would make pretending to call from a number for the sake misleading someone checking their caller ID to sell something a felony.
According to Lipscomb, it is not that they are calling, but disguising their identity.
The Gadsden Republican explained on “The Jeff Poor Show” how the problem is not just an inconvenience, but something that could eat into a business’ overhead costs as well.
“We’ve got fraudulent phone calls being made by various entities in-state, out-of-state, abroad – whatever the case may be,” Lipscomb said. “The real problem is that not so much that they’re calling, but they’re calling and pretending to be someone else. And of course, we don’t want to talk to telemarketers. But at the very least, we want to have the opportunity to know the telemarketer is the one who is calling us, as opposed to Bob down the street.”
He added, “If I see the phone and I think it is my neighbor and I pick up the line, and it turns out to be someone trying to sell me an extended warranty on a dishwasher, I’m pretty upset about that – especially if I use my phone not only for my personal use but my phone is my business line as well. That’s really eating into my overhead time.”
Lipscomb acknowledged the logistical problems of the legislation, but said the legal hassle could dissuade these callers in the future.
“If we accomplish nothing else, we make this more of a federal matter, which is what it should be truly,” Lipscomb added. “And second of all, if nothing else we can potentially get these people in the courts where the AG can at least stick a thumb in their eye and make them pony up some legal bills. We want to let them know we’re upset, and we want everyone to know we’re upset. And hopefully, this is something else that can produce results across the board.”