Truth In Caller Act – FCC Violations Carry a $10,000 Per Number Fine.
We have been getting a lot of questions lately on what the rules are surrounding caller ID and messaging. We’ve done a little bit of research to give our community a starting point since compliance is very important to our organization. Of course we can’t give legal advice and please do not take this as legal advice. The best resource for learning about Caller ID Rules is going to be on the FCC’s website and reading the Truth In Caller ID Act.
The best summary of this entire act, is if you are telemarketing, you must use a valid caller identification that goes back to you; the initiator or client of the message or communication.
Stratics Networks requires any and all telemarketing transmission messages to use a valid caller ID.
Please take a moment and read some of the commission’s rules stated below as well as Stratics Networks opinions found in the final paragraph of this document.
Is spoofing illegal?
Under the Truth in Caller ID Act, FCC rules prohibits any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value. If no harm is intended or caused, spoofing is not illegal. Anyone who is illegally spoofing can face penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation. In some cases, spoofing can be permitted by courts for people who have legitimate reasons to hide their information, such as law enforcement agencies working on cases, victims of domestic abuse or doctors who wish to discuss private medical matters.
Is blocking a phone number the same thing as spoofing?
Spoofing is not the same thing as blocking a phone number. FCC rules require telephone companies to make phone number blocking available and free for all calls between states (each state makes it’s own rules about calls that stay within the state). If you receive a phone call from an “unknown number,” that phone number has been blocked, but not necessarily spoofed. Also, you can legally block the transmission of your phone number when you make calls, so your number will appear as “unknown.”
What are the FCC rules regarding caller ID for telemarketers?
FCC rules specifically require that a telemarketer:
Transmits or displays it’s telephone number on whose behalf the call is being made, and, if possible, it’s name or the name of the company for which it is selling products or services. Display a telephone number you can call during regular business hours so they can request to no longer be called. This rule applies even to companies that already have an established business relationship with you.
To summarize, Stratics Networks requires any and all telemarketing transmission messages to use a valid caller ID.
Do I need to use a Caller ID for Ringless Voicemail Drops?
Yes, Stratics Networks requires customers to transmit caller IDs for Ringless Voicemail Drops. For majority of the cases, the recipient of the message will never see the displayed caller ID message, however, the FCC rules do clearly require a caller ID to be transmitted whether it is received by the end user or not.
Do I need to transmit a caller identification for non-marketing and non-telemarketing communications like political or informational calls?
We here at Stratics Networks are not lawyers and we cannot and will not give legal advice.
In the rules laid out by the FCC, it would appear that the transmission and displaying of a caller identification is mandatory for telemarketing communications. Non-telemarketing communications could be interpreted as falling outside of this rule contained within the truth of the Caller ID Act.
Disclaimer: We here at Stratics Networks are not lawyers and we cannot and will not give legal advice, nor should any advice be relied upon. The information we share here is to give you a great starting point in your own research and should only be used for informational purposes.