Legislators To Consider Bill To Ban ‘Spoofing’ In Md.

It’s sponsored by Frederick County Delegate Kathy Afzali.

Annapolis, Md (KM). Legislation which would ban “spoofing” in Maryland will be taken up this year by the General Assembly. It was “dropped” on Tuesday by Frederick County Delegate Kathy Afzali (R).

“Spoofing” is when telemarketers, scammers  or other callers use  technology to put a local phone number on you caller ID screen, even though that’s not the location from where the call originates. “So then you pick up the phone, and it’s somebody trying to sell you a cruise; or your credit’s a mess so let’s fix it; that kind of stuff,” she says. “Some of it is used for fraudulent purposes and that’s already covered by federal law.”

Afzali says her bill would prohibit “spoofing” in Maryland, and it  would even  over calls which come from outside of the state. “We can act. We have the authority to act and call it illegal in the state of Maryland to use this kind of technology to misrepresent who you are,” she says.

Delegate Afzali says this is the biggest complaint she receives from her constituents. “People are just mad;  they’re just frustrated. And then, unfortunately, when you or I try to call people, they don’t pick up their phones anymore. They’re screening because they don’t want to pick up their phones because nine times out of ten, it’s a telemarketer,” she says.

Now that the bill has been introduced, Afzali says she will wait for a hearing date to be set.

Even though this legislation,if passed, would ban “spoofing,” Afzali says that’s just the beginning. “The question is how do we enforce it. I haven’t gotten that far. Let’s make it illegal first. At least if it’s illegal in the state of Maryland, the legitimate telemarketers will have to abide by that. And then after that, we try to figure out how to catch them in the act,” she says.

She hopes this bill will receive a lot of support from lawmakers, regardless of their political party. “It’s really very non-partisan. I don’t think anybody could disagree with this bill. It is so dang frustrating to have these people calling you and hounding you all day,” says Afzali.


By Kevin McManus