Senator Anna M. Kaplan Introduces Legislation Making Spoofing Law Enforcement a Crime

Senator Anna M. Kaplan

December 27, 2019

(Carle Place, NY) December 28, 2019 -- Responding to numerous reports of scammers "spoofing" the phone numbers of law enforcement in Nassau County and elsewhere, Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-Great Neck) has introduced legislation, S.6920, to criminalize the practice.

“Scammers are pulling out all the stops to take advantage of vulnerable New Yorkers, and we need to make sure the law keeps up with their tactics so they can be brought to justice," said bill sponsor Senator Anna M. Kaplan. "Pretending to be a law enforcement officer with a spoofed phone number is a new low that doesn't only hurt the victim, it hurts the ability of law enforcement to maintain a level of trust when contacting members of the public."

Section one of the bill, S.6920, creates the crime of spoofing a police agency in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor, when a person with intent to defraud another person, or to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person, places a telephone call whereby the ID displays a phone number of a police agency, district attorney's office, or any other law enforcement agency.

Section two creates the crime of spoofing a police agency in the first degree, a Class E felony, which is when a person commits the same crime after having been previously convicted of spoofing a police agency within the last ten years.

The bill will be considered by the Senate Rules committee when the legislature returns to session in 2020, and Senator Kaplan will prioritize its passage.

"We must work to ensure that communication from our law enforcement is not fabricated or used to defraud the public, so that they can do their jobs without interference, and so that the public can be confident that they aren't being scammed when they get a call from law enforcement," Senator Kaplan concluded.

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