Truth in Caller ID Act

Now that I moved back to the USA and set up phone service I've been getting hammered by illegal prerecorded telemarketing calls. Often times the caller ID is spoofed on these calls. I've always had sort of a sideline interest in telecommunications and so I started reading about Caller ID spoofing. Apparently there has been a lot of talk around the US about making caller ID spoofing illegal including a "Truth in Caller ID Act". Somehow I doubt the telemarketers will be dissuaded.

Now forgive me as I know very little about how actual telephone networks function, but it seems like it would be trivial for the phone companies themselves to seal up this gaping hole in security. Would it not be much simpler for the US government to just hold the telephone companies accountable for this billable service they provide? Why don't the central offices just reject any incoming Caller ID info and stamp on the correct info? In the case of VoIP, stamp on the VoIP provider's phone number and require VoIP providers to divulge the contact info of it's subscribers to called parties.... In the case of calls from unknown or untrustworthy providers - don't provide any caller ID... Is there something technologically impossible or unfeasible about these ideas? There has to be something I'm missing.

If it requires caller ID technology upgrades, then why not just rip off the band-aid and do it. 10 years from now we'll all have phones that support the new protocol and hopefully a feature for upgrading the caller ID software. I just don't see why the government would even bother with making impossible to enforce laws aimed at the telemarketers.

Enlighten me...


Reply to
Loading thread data ...

On ordinary single-line telephone service, the Caller ID data is inserted by the telco switch. The problem comes from PBX's. The telco's line ID for the trunk is pretty much useless for Caller ID purposes, especially since on most PBX's that line is outgoing only. In fact, it may even have a non-dialable number, like (xxx) 0xx-xxxx. Thus, the PBX inserts the Caller ID data, which the telco accepts on faith. It's very difficult to separate out the PBX administrators who "accidentally" transmit invalid CLID from the ones who do it intentionally.

It should be possible, though, for the telco to do some sort of "sanity check," making sure that the CLID is at least a potentially valid number, or better yet ensuring that the CLID transmitted by a PBX is within a specified range of numbers. For example, the PBX might have DID numbers of xxx-2000 through xxx-3999. If that's too much to do in real time, telco could at least do random spot checks.

I recently got a call from "Rachel" of "Cardholder Services," offering me my "final opportunity" to lower my interest rate on my credit card debt (if I owe more than $2,500). Unfortunately, my phone with CLID display wasn't connected, but I've discovered that the same recording pops up all over the country, often with completely bogus CLID -- for example, non-existent area code.

A few years ago, I was getting illegal prerecorded telemarketing calls to my personal 800 number in the wee hours of the morning, even on weekends. Happily, in that instance, the number to call back for more info (about automated telemarketing services, naturally) was a personal

800 number that rang into the owner's bedroom, and there were more payphones in my neighborhood than he had slots in his call-blocking list. I suspect it was his wife who made him turn off the robodialer.
Reply to
Linc Madison


Like the ones you see in old movies and TV shows where you put coins in? ;)

OK, they're not quite that rare... yet.

Reply to
Grant Edwards

Most telco's do enforce range checks for outbound CLID on DIDs on

*new* service for PBX connections (ie. PRIs). Existing service tends to be left alone, as breaking something without notice really makes customers anoyed, and who knows what they are doing, or how to explain a new restriction back to the end-customer?

I find that most telemarketers don't put any CLID on the line. Subscribing to a service such that it blocks calls that don't have CLID really cuts down on telemarketers. That, plus being on the do-not-call list effectively puts me at the only telemarketing calls we get are from the likes of ARC which we've donated to in the past. I can't think of a single telemarketing call otherwise received.

Reply to
Doug McIntyre

Ok but the point of caller ID as far as I am concerned is accountability. I'm not concerned if I can't actually dial the number that shows up on my caller ID, as long as it leads to information about who called me. Sure, It would be nice to always be able to flip to my caller ID numbers and re-dial or save that number for whatever reason, but I for one, would gladly give up that ability for those calls I receive that originate from behind a PBX. There are very few callers who call me from behind a PBX that I actually want to call back, and even so I would just learn to recognize their outgoing CLID and substitute their regular business number when I wanted to return a call. Alternatively, the telco could require the subscriber to provide a single valid call back number that the telco would then insert. Why not eliminate the option for PBX administrators to insert their favorite number? Doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

Telemarketing isn't the only reason to close this gap in security. There have been incidences of Phishing where a spoofed caller ID is used to lure people into believing that their bank is calling them and needs to verify account details. There is one case of a man calling in a hostage situation to police using a spoofed caller ID. So the swat team showed up at some lady's house and ordered her out with her hands up... much to her surprise....

It seems awfully complacent to stand by and ignore this wide open hole in the system.

Reply to

Actually it was Justin of who also had his CLID spoofed to

911. Here's what bothers me most, E-911 uses CLID and not ANI and that really makes me wonder.

In traces I've done, most are using fly-by-night providers who don't give a crap what you send as CLID. 800 services are cheap enough that I just use that now. That way I get ANI sent to me as CLID. It works beautifully.

Reply to

They're getting harder to find. In NYC there are lots of them. To my pleasure, many offered 25c/minute long distance.

A recent TV show just pictured a person using a pay phone, with the ding-ding sound when she put in the coin. Payphones haven't done that in years. Ironically, the story line was about the girl earning some extra money to get her own cell phone. She was grossed out using the dirty school's pay phone.

They tell me schools have removed pay phones because the kids used them for abusive purposes.

Reply to

Are you show about that? That means if someone *67 (caller ID block), the number wouldn't show.

Since 911 is a specialized service with trunk seizing, I would think it would always use ANI for greatest reliability.

By the way, there are 800 services in which you call them and for a fee, forward a call to someone with a spoofed caller ID. Apparently perfectly legal. They have a disclaimer "For entertainment purposes only". I think that ought to be illegal.

I think caller ID should be limited to the phone number only, not the name.

Reply to

I remember seeing the old three slot pay phones but never got to use one. The only payphones I'd ever used were the armored types, where you could hear the beeps in the handset when you dropped coins in the chute.

Reply to

We are a newly telecom carrier offering VOIP service with advanced caller identification features. No more spoofed caller ID with PDXUSA. See more at our website.

formatting link
Everything is in development stages so be patient.

Reply to

To be honest, there wasn't anything special about using a 3-slot phone (other than hearing the gong for the quarter).

But what is sadly missed are the "full service" telephone booths that went with them. First off, the booth gave you privacy and isolated you from area noise, something desperately needed today. Second, it was pleasant, it had a fan you controlled, a little seat, light, and a little table. You could make a call, take notes, etc. Office buildings, train stations, drugstores and other public spaces had such booths. Other phonebooths were stand-up, but they still had a door, light, and fan.

The classic ones were handsome and made of wood. In the 1960s they had some experimental modern designs, such as circular glass and round sliding doors. When they went to pedestals originally the pedestal had acoustic sides to it and some space between it and the next phone to give some privacy and noise protection. Using an open pay phone in a hard surfaced hallway is lousy today.

There's a Verizon phone booth on the highway that I need to photograph before it's gone.

Reply to
hancock4 Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.