Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist has issued
investigative subpoenas to a website company that
allegedly sells calling cards that allow parties to
display fraudulent numbers on caller ID, a practice
known as "spoofing."
Crist said spoffing allows stalkers, identity
thieves, home intruders, telemarketers and possibly
worse, to hide their identity when making calls to
One of the companies being investigated allegedly
sells a virtual "calling card" for $10 that provides
60 minutes of talk time. The user dials a tollfree
number, then keys in the destination number and the
number the caller wishes to display on caller ID.
The companys website also provides optional
voice scrambling that can alter a persons voice,
such as from male to female or adult to child, the
Attorney Generals office said.
"People use caller ID to protect themselves from
unwanted calls and contact from those who would do
them harm," said Crist. "It is wrong for individuals
or businesses to deceive our citizens, and this
cannot be allowed to continue unchecked."
The spoofing investigation comes on the heels of
the Attorney Generals filing of lawsuits against
two Florida companies – 1st Source Information
Specialists, Inc. and Global Information Group, Inc.
The companies are accused of deceiving employees
of wireless telephone companies, such as Cingular
Wireless and Verizon, into selling private telephone
calling records of Florida consumers. Investigators
with the Attorney Generals Office believe this
practice may have been assisted by spoofing.
The subpoenas were issued under Floridas
Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Chapter
501 in Florida Statutes. Telemarketers are required
by Federal Trade Commission regulations to make
either their companys phone number or the phone
number of the company or charitable organization
they are representing visible on consumer caller ID
Other concerns raised by spoofing include
identity theft, as individuals can use spoofing to
pose as a bank and steal personal account
information from their unsuspecting victims.