Caller ID spoof masks real callers

Oct. 30, 2004 at 7:10 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- New technology can trick U.S. caller-ID services into displaying someone else's name and telephone number, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

The Web-based systems make the name and number appear in a call recipient's caller-ID box. The practice could be used by stalkers and debt-collection agencies, some consumers worry.

A company called Star38 that launched in September with plans to market to debt collectors has changed its strategy after consumers complained. Star38 admitted the approach was "flawed," and now says it will market their system to law enforcement agencies.

New Jersey-based Camophone says it will perform the service on a call-by-call basis for a fee of $5 and up. The company said it recognizes that the service could be abused but insists its intent is to help customers protect their privacy.

The Direct Marketing Association said masking a marketer's identity is illegal under rules enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

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