Kansas spoofing is when a person conceals their caller ID by causing a telephone network to indicate a wrong originator location for a phone call. Spoofing allows the caller to place a call from anywhere in the world to anybody in Kansas, and the caller ID will display an area code familiar to the receiver. In Kansas, scammers spoof legitimate businesses and agencies to steal money or information from unsuspecting persons.
Generally, caller ID spoofing is not illegal when it is used for the public good. The State Police or other law enforcement agency may use spoofing to obtain evidence for a case. The State also allows businesses to place calls with their toll-free numbers, granted that there is an existing relationship between them and the customer. However, spoofing has become a cause for worry in Kansas. Caller ID spoofing has made it easier for individuals to commit crimes and go unpunished.
The availability of new internet telephone technology such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and many third-party applications has made it possible for anyone to spoof their phone number. Individuals may contact their service providers to tweak a phone system so that a chosen number is displayed on it. Nonetheless, in Kansas, it is unlawful for a service provider or an individual to permit any telecommunication device under one's control to be used to commit a crime.
Spoofing is used to facilitate many criminal activities in Kansas, and some of them are:
Swatting is one of the common spoofing sponsored crimes in Kansas. It is the act of calling 911 and faking an emergency that elicits a response from law enforcement or the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. Swatting has led to the death of innocent individuals in Kansas, and as a result, it has become a serious offense in the state.
Generally, swatting involves reporting an incident that is false or exaggerated to harass, cause panic, or harm the resident of the reported address. Swatting can be a means of getting back at law enforcement, in which case, the team realizes that it was a false alarm only after getting to the address. Swatting may also be used to distract the team before committing the original crime.
Harassment is when a call is placed to disturb another person and cause them emotional distress in the process. In Kansas, an individual can commit the crime of harassment through a telephone call. Individuals who do this often spoof their phone number before playing pranks or harassing innocent individuals in the state.
Scammers spoof their phone number to impersonate government agencies, family, or close contacts so that individuals can take their calls. Harassment does not start with abuse; often, the caller would speak nicely to keep the conversation alive from the start. However, as soon as they sense that the victim is comfortable, they start to give them suspicious instructions.
Scammers may trick victims into paying money after harassing them on the phone. The Kansas Office of Attorney General (KAG) advises residents to avoid any form of payment in response to a telephone solicitation. If you receive a call asking you to pay to guarantee your safety, contact the KAG. Residents can also use a reverse phone lookup tool to find out the origin of the call.
Spoofing allows individuals to misrepresent their real phone numbers and mislead innocent individuals. Scammers may spoof government agencies like the Police, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Security Administration, and legitimate businesses to steal from individuals. Impersonation scam usually involves the use of threats to trick individuals into acting fast. Scammers may claim that the law enforcement agency being impersonated is ready to visit the target’s address immediately. Residents who receive such calls can contact a reverse phone number service provider for help.
Spoofing has made it possible for scammers to sell bogus offers to innocent individuals. The scammers spoof their phone numbers to display information of reputable telemarketers to trick residents. In Kansas, it is prohibited for anyone to make a telephone solicitation with the intent of defrauding another individual. Individuals that have been targeted by these forms of call spoofing can file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
How Do You Know If Your Number Is Being Spoofed?
Spoofed phone numbers are likely to receive feedback from victims. A phone number may have been spoofed when you start receiving calls or texts from unknown numbers. The calls or texts are usually responses to conversations you did not initiate. To avoid being associated with a crime you did not commit, contact the FCC by calling 1-888-CALL FCC (225-5322) or file an online report.
Why is Phone Spoofing Illegal?
In Kansas state, residents have the right to use a mobile phone without disturbance. Phone Spoofing contravenes the Truth in Caller ID Act. The act makes it a crime for anyone to transmit wrong caller ID information with the sole intent of defrauding or harming any member of the public. Phone spoofing by scammers is a criminal offense aimed at stealing money and sensitive information from people. As such, the State of Kansas outlaws such criminal practice. Residents who have been targeted by a scammer should contact the KAG for help.
How Can You Identify and Protect Yourself from Illegal Spoofed Calls?
Spoofed calls are among the leading customer complaints in Kansas. KAG advises residents to beware of phone numbers that appear legitimate, as they are often used to defraud or obtain sensitive information from individuals. Identifying a spoofed call can help minimize the number of fraudulent calls you take. Residents can handle spoofed calls in any of the following ways:
- Hang up if someone from a familiar organization is requesting information they should have in their database.
- Avoid taking calls from unknown numbers as much as possible. The caller will drop a message if the information is important.
- Download and install any call blocking the application. Residents may use Truecaller or Nomorobo to protect themselves from spoofed calls.
- Contact the Attorney General’s office to report illegal spoofing targeted at you.
- Enroll Your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
- Contact the Federal Communications Commission by filing a complaint on their website anytime you suspect a spoof call.
Does Kansas Have Anti-Spoofing Laws?
No, there is currently no law prohibiting spoofing in Kansas. The state is aware that spoofing may also be used legitimately. However, Kansas prohibits any form of spoofing scam. Article 62 of Crime Against the Public Peace prohibits any form of harassment by a telecommunication device. In Kansas, an individual is guilty of harassment when they communicate with the intent of intimidating or causing substantial emotional distress to the recipient of the call. Harassment via a telecommunication device involves any of the following acts:
- Deliberately make or transmit any comment, suggestion, or proposal which is obscene, lewd, or indecent via the telephone.
- Make telephone calls anonymously or make repeated phone calls to a person who does not want to talk to them.
- Make or cause a telecommunication device to repeatedly ring to harass another individual.
- Permit any telecommunication device owned by a resident to be used for fraud.
Harassment by a telecommunication device is a class A non-person misdemeanor in Kansas. Kansas has also adopted the Truth in Caller ID Act, making it unlawful for any person in the country to knowingly transmit false caller identification information with the intent to steal from them.
What are Common Phone Scams involving Caller ID Spoofing in Kansas?
Some of the common phone scams involving spoofing that occur in Kansas include:
- Law enforcement impersonation scams
- Telemarketing scams
- Charity scam
- Medicare scams
- Lottery/sweepstakes scam