Missouri legislators are moving to crack down on telemarketers who mask their identities by displaying fake numbers on the recipient’s caller-ID that are similar to their own numbers. Confronting this annoyance can’t come fast enough. These telemarketing robocallers call cell phone users while making it appear the calls are coming in from the same area code and prefix as the recipient has.
Known as “spoofing,” the idea is to fool the recipient into thinking the call is coming from a friend or relative, thus increasing the chances the person will answer and give the telemarketer a chance to make a sales pitch.
Since the numbers the marketers use aren’t their regular numbers and change all the time, the ploy has allowed them to sidestep no-call lists. “I was getting about five a day,” the sponsor of the measure, Sen. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
His legislation, Senate Bill 144, would automatically add use of fake numbers to the state’s no-call list, making violations easier to prosecute.