Feeds

Ofcom swoops on caller ID-faking firm with... request for information

Your regulator: On top of the issues that matter

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Ofcom said today it has responded to the launch of a new service enabling scammers to spoof their caller ID by, erm, writing a letter to the firm responsible.

Yesterday we reported on how members of parliament have asked regulators to examine Spookcall, a new company that has brought the US practice of caller ID-spoofing to the UK. It's commonly used Stateside for identity theft, prank calling, fraud, voicemail hacking and by private investigators.

Reaction to the emergence of caller ID spoofing in the UK by the El Reg commentariat was negative, to say the least.

Our report of the MPs' call for action came after we told Ofcom about Spookcall on Monday. Today, following three days pursuit we were able to extract this comment from our communications regulator: "Ofcom is carefully examining Spook Call's [sic] service as detailed on their website and has contacted the company to gather further information about the nature of their service."

We can't tell you what's in the letter to Spookcall, because Ofcom says it's a hush-hush confidential mum's-the-word secret. We don't know when it hopes to form an opinion either. But it's promised to let us know when it does.

For its part, Spookcall says that its services are entirely legal in the UK.

While we wait for Ofcom to grind into gear, Spookcall will be offering anyone who can pay £5 for every 10 minutes call time the chance to replace their real dial-out number - which appears on the call recipient's display unless it's withheld - with any other digits.

Ofcom's had a while to ready itself for the launch of such a service in the UK. Caller ID-spoofing systems have been publicly available in the US since 2004, and legislation is currently under consideration in Congress to outlaw their abuse.

In fact, Ofcom told the BBC in 2005: "We are aware of it and are monitoring the issue." Yes, Ofcom has been monitoring the issue so closely that the first it apparently knew about Spookcall was when we rang on Monday.

We've contacted BT for a view on Spookcall, but it hasn't returned our call. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.