In Sohns v. Bramacint, L.L.C., Judge Ericksen held that spoofing a caller identification identity to falsely represent the source of the call violates the FDCPA. Judge Ericksen explained:
In Knoll, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant debt collector had violated §§ 1692d-1692f by “transmitting the false name of ‘Jennifer Smith’ via a caller identification device to consumers to lure them into answering the phone or returning Defendant’s calls.” 502 F. Supp. 2d at 945. The defendant argued that the text available on a caller identification device is insufficient to make a full, meaningful disclosure under § 1692d(6). Id. at 946. The district court rejected this argument as “baseless”: “To meet the ‘meaningful disclosure’ requirement, the call identification device need only display the true name, alias or entity placing the call.” Id. The defendant also argued that the plaintiff received a meaningful disclosure when he returned the call and spoke with one of the defendant’s employees. Id. The district court rejected this argument: Such disclosure was too late. Although Allied Interstate disclosed its identity when Knoll returned the calls, Defendant did not make any attempt to identify itself when it placed the telephone calls to Knoll. Indeed, Knoll claims that Defendant purposefully hid its identity and misled him as to the purpose of the call. Id. The district court also concluded that the plaintiff had stated a claim under § 1692e. Id. at 947-48. The Court finds the reasoning of Knoll persuasive. The facts of this case are far more egregious than those of Knoll. In that case, there was no apparent relationship between the putative “Jennifer Smith” and the plaintiff. Here, Bramacint assumed the telephone number of Sohns’s mother-in-law to contact Sohns. After contacting Sohns under the guise of her mother-in-law, Bramacint engaged in an adversarial conversation with Sohns about the Sebring. Toward the end of that conversation, Bramacint mentioned Sohns’s “beautiful daughter” in an effort to intimidate Sohns. Viewing the record in the light most favorable to Bramacint, the Court concludes that Bramacint engaged in conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt; used false, deceptive, or misleading representations or means in connection with the collection of any debt; and used unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. The Court therefore grants Sohns’s motion for partial summary judgment. Bramacint is liable to Sohns for violations of §§ 1692d-1692f.