Caller ID Spoofer Accused of Abetting Crime
BOSTON (CN) - Teltech Systems, whose "SpoofCard Service" lets its customers disguise their phone numbers and voices, aids and abets crime, claims a woman who says in court that she was verbally assaulted by a couple using the device.
Siobhan Walsh sued Teltech Systems in Federal Court. Teltech is based in Toms River, N.J.
Walsh claims its SpoofCard Service aids and abets criminals who to commit acts of domestic violence, falsely accuse others of crimes, fake kidnappings, interfere with personal relationships, avoid lawful commitments (including jury duty), make false police reports, make false emergency calls, obtain evidence for court cases in a fraudulent and illegal manner, and otherwise defame, harass, annoy and invade the privacy of others."
The SpoofCard allows users to change the number that shows up on a recipient's Caller ID, and also modifies the user's voice.
Walsh claims she received six calls in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2009, that supposedly originated from the apartment of an upstairs neighbor, but which were actually made by Michael and Johnienne DiLorenzo through the aid of the SpoofCard.
She says in the lawsuit that she "answered her phone and heard a male voice, which she assumed was [her neighbor's] voice. Plaintiff asked what the caller wanted and the caller said, 'Meet me in the laundry room. I can't wait to f*** you up the ass so hard! I know what you like!'"
Walsh says she had to unplug her phone, as the harassing calls continued until 4 a.m.
After discovering several harassing voicemails on her phone in the morning, Walsh called police, who investigated her neighbor, and eventually busted down his door and arrested him on charges of threatening to commit a crime and criminal harassment, Walsh says in the complaint.
A few days later, Walsh says, she received a voicemail telling her to drop the charges. Again, she says, she thought her neighbor "was behind these phone calls," so she "applied for a Stay Away Order from Norfolk County Superior Court in Dedham, Massachusetts, which was granted on February 2, 2009."
Her neighbor was arrested again, this time on felony witness intimidation charges, and it wasn't until Dec. 4, 2009 that the DiLorenzos finally came forward to admit they had used the SpoofCard to deceive and harass Walsh, she says in the complaint.
All charges against her neighbor were dropped, and the DiLorenzos were charged with criminal harassment, threats to commit a crime, intimidation of a witness and misleading a police officer, according to the lawsuit.
Walsh claims that Teltech Systems continues to produce and market the SpoofCard despite knowing the device is used for criminal purposes, and that the company "has been subpoenaed to provide documents in cases across the country evidencing the use of SpoofCard in domestic violence, telephone harassment, stalking, invasion of privacy, theft and fraud cases."
While the device itself is not illegal, Walsh says, Teltech "has intentionally and willfully published 'testimonials' where alleged customers have claimed, amongst other things, to have utilized the SpoofCard to harass their former spouses, commit acts of domestic violence, secretly tape record conversations, falsely accuse others of crimes ... and otherwise defame, harass, annoy and invade the privacy of others."
Walsh seeks $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages for false and deceptive trade.
She is represented by Richard Reiling in Boston.
The DiLorenzos are not parties to the lawsuit.