Ohio bill banning spoofing phone numbers heads to DeWine

The FTC and FCC is warning against a caller ID spoofing scam.

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The FTC and FCC is warning against a caller ID spoofing scam.

A bill to ban ban “spoofing” — making a call appear to come from a different, often familiar number — passed the House on Wednesday.

It passed the Senate in May, and is headed for Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk.

Senate Bill 54, sponsored by state Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, would prohibit an intended fraudster from making a caller ID service “transmit inaccurate or misleading caller identification information.”

State Rep. David Leland, D-Columbus, endorsed the bill’s specific penalties for defrauding the elderly, disabled and members of the military. It would elevate the offense from a fifth-degree felony to the fourth degree if one of those groups was the target. A fourth degree felony carries a potential sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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House members passed the bill 77-2 on Wednesday.

It would bring Ohio law in line with the federal Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, its Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The Dayton region received more than 16.5 million robocalls in September, according to YouMail, which tracks robocalls. That works out to more than 550,000 per day. YouMail estimates that about 42% of those robocalls calls are alerts or payment reminders, but that about 31% are scams.

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