Law passed on banning phone ‘spoofing’ in Ohio

Have you ever received a call from a familiar number, and it turned out to be a scam caller?

If yes, then you may have been a victim of “spoofing.”

According to a release from Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck Jr., ‘spoofing” is when a caller sends false information to your caller ID, making the call appear to come from a familiar number or area code.

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Two Texas companies spoofed over 56 million robocalls to Ohioans, according to the release.

The Dayton area has received over 550,000 robocalls per day, and an estimated 31% of these calls were scams.

Ohio Senate Bill 54 has passed both the Ohio House and Senate and earlier this week Governor DeWine signed the bill into law.

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The bill prohibits these callers from sending caller ID information that is inaccurate or misleading.

If found guilty of telecommunications fraud the parties will be charged with a fifth-degree felony according to the bill.

If the offender stole between $1,000 to $7,499 from the victim of fraud, they will be charged with a fourth-degree felony. Anywhere between $7,500 and $149,999, the guilty party will be charged with a third-degree felony.

Stealing $150,000 but less than $1 million will result in a second-degree felony charge. Anything over $1 million will be a first-degree felony in Ohio.

The bill will also amend the Telecommunications Fraud statute to include heightened penalties if the victim is elderly, disabled, an active-duty service member, or spouse of an active-duty service member.

If you receive a “spoof” call like this, you should immediately report it to the Ohio Attorney General’s Robocall Enforcement Unit at 1-800-282-0515 or by visiting OhioProtect.org.