Bill Introduced in Senate That Would Criminalize Robocalls

Yet another Senator is planning on introducing yet another bill aimed at eliminating robocalls, according to a published report.

This time, it’s Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto [D-Nev.], who plans to introduce legislation that would criminalize robocalls. Sen. Cortez Masto is joined by Sen. Charles Schumer [D-N.Y.], Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D-Minn.], and Sen. Maggie Hassan [D-N.H.] in introducing the legislation. Sen. Cortez Masto said she is working on generating bipartisan support for her bill.

Perpetrators of robocalls would face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 for falsifying an outgoing phone number on a caller ID, also known as spoofing. The bill would also define “aggravated” offenses which could result in a sentence of up to three years in prison, according to the report. The report said that violators of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act would be subject to the penalties mentioned above, but did not indicate whether the penalties were just for robocallers or for any violations of the TCPA.

The proposed legislation does not appear to have been officially introduced yet, according to a search of Congressional records.

“Our legislation will give law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on scammers and deter criminals from abusing robocalls,” Sen. Klobuchar said in a statement.

A number of bills aimed at eliminating robocalls have been introduced in the Senate, including the Protecting American Consumers from Robocalls Act, and the TRACED Act. The credit and collection industry’s concerns related to robocalls are efforts that ultimately end up blocking legitimate calls, such as those from debt collectors, along with illegal robocalls.

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