(Statehouse - Indianapolis) April 11, 2007 - House Bill 1046, co-authored by State Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford), passed the Senate today by a vote of 48-0. The Indiana Telecommunications Privacy Protection Act would help protect Hoosiers from "Caller ID spoofing" and the use of "Pretexting" to obtain confidential customer records from a telecommunications service provider.
"Caller ID spoofing has become easier in recent years and is used by telemarketers and scam-artists to deceive and defraud consumers. Caller ID spoofing can also be used to break into a cell phone voice mailbox or to conduct a "pretext call" to obtain confidential information from companies, individuals, or government," Rep. Koch said.
"Caller ID spoofing" involves transmitting false or misleading caller ID information through a caller ID service with use of special equipment or a third-party website service. "Pretexting" involves making false representations or fraudulent statements to a telecommunications service provider to obtain the confidential customer records of another person. The bill would also prohibit the sale, transfer, purchase, receipt, use, or disclosure of a consumer's telecommunications records without the consumer's prior authorization. Rep. Koch's legislation creates criminal penalties for violators and provides civil remedies for consumers victimized by these activities.
"Consumers and law enforcement will have the tools to fight back against this crime and put these people out of business. Hoosiers will be able to better protect their personal information and prevent an identity theft crime from happening," said Rep. Koch
House Bill 1046 will also require telecommunications providers to notify affected customers of any unauthorized acquisition or disclosure of confidential customer records.
The use of "pretexting" by individuals and companies to obtain confidential customer records for use or sale to third parties is also growing.
Rep. Koch serves House District 65, which includes Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, and Lawrence counties.