Text Message Solicitations Added to Truth in Caller ID Act Passed by N.C. House  

Bill sponsored by House Speaker Tim Moore prohibits misleading phone numbers on caller ID 

Raleigh, N.C. – The North Carolina House of Representatives added  prohibitions on caller ID spoofing to text message solicitations in the Truth in Caller ID Act approved by a unanimous vote of the chamber on Friday. 

House Bill 724 Truth in Caller ID Act is sponsored by North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), Rep. Phil Shepard (R-Onslow), and Rep. Chris Humphrey (R-Lenoir).

The bill would prohibit telephone solicitors from causing misleading information to be transmitted to users of caller identification technologies or otherwise block or misrepresent the origin of the telephone solicitation.

Telephone solicitors would be required to use either their contact information or the name and number of the actual entity the sales call is being made on behalf of under the legislation.

“This is going to regulate telephone solicitations made through text communications as well, so I appreciate your support to deal with this very troublesome issue for our citizens,” said Rep. Chris Humphrey (R-Lenoir). 

Current law in North Carolina only prohibits telephone solicitors from knowingly using any method to block or otherwise circumvent a telephone subscriber’s use of a caller identification service.

Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) said the bill was a commonsense reform to help families and businesses inundated with sales calls.

“We’re not the only state that is struggling with this,” Rep. Saine said.  “All are trying to find ways to combat this.  This is not a silver bullet but it does give us a starting point.  Citizens should know who is calling them and not have some of our oldest and youngest North Carolinians preyed up.” 

Speaker Tim Moore said caller ID transparency would benefit customers and industries because confusing North Carolinians with misleading phone numbers is not the way to do business in the state.

“I have heard more about this issue than anything else this year,” Speaker Moore said. “It shows what a big problem it is regarding these spoofing phone calls and texts.  The constant use of misleading phone numbers by telemarketers and text message solicitors disrupts the daily lives of North Carolinians.”

“For most of us it’s an annoyance, but some people get tricked and lose a lot of money.  They get a call thinking it’s a family member or loved one, but it’s someone trying to get money from them.”

“What this does is create an unfair and deceptive trade practice and a private right of action. This bill would protect our North Carolina citizens and customers.”

The bill was sent to the North Carolina Senate for consideration.  If passed into law, it would become effective December 1, 2019.