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House moves to stop false caller ID scams

WASHINGTON — Using false caller ID with the intent of tricking people into revealing personal information or otherwise causing harm would become illegal under legislation that passed the House on Wednesday.

Backers of the bill, passed by voice vote, said caller ID “spoofing” is a growing threat to people because of new technology making it cheap and easy to change the name and number that phone call recipients see on their caller ID.

For example, a scammer might use the caller ID of a bank as a way of duping a person into revealing his Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers.

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the chief sponsor of the bill with Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, cited a case last year where New York City police uncovered an identity theft ring that used caller ID spoofing to steal more than $15 million from 6,000 victims.