Bill Introduced in House to Double Anti-Spoofing Fines

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would double the penalty for companies found to be manipulating the information on Caller ID as a means of combatting illegal robocalls.

The bill, H.R. 6320, was introduced yesterday by Rep. Tom Rice [R-S.C.], and is a companion bill to one that was introduced earlier this year in the Senate. The Senate bill was introduced by Sen. Susan Collins [R-Maine], and co-sponsored by Sen. Krysten Sinema [D-Ariz.], Sen. Josh Hawley [R-Mo.], and Sen. Gary Peters [D-Mich.].

Manipulating the information on Caller ID, a tactic commonly referred to as spoofing, can allow illegal robocallers or other scammers to trick consumers into answering a phone call, by making it look like the call is coming from someone the consumers know. Scammers can take the tactic one step further and impersonate someone, like a government agent or law enforcement official, to take advantage of an unsuspecting consumer.

Under the bill, penalties for illegal spoofing would be double for both individual violations and the maximum fine. The fine for individual violations would increase to $20,000 and the maximum fine would increase to $2 million.

“Robocallers prey on elderly and innocent Americans with elaborate schemes to access financial information,” said Rep. Rice, in a statement. “The legislation I’ve introduced today will crack down on these scammers and ensure the penalties for illegal spoofing are just.”

Other versions of this type of bill also sought to extend the statute of limitations to three years from two years to catch those violating the law. The text of the Rep. Rice’s bill had not yet been published by www.Congress.gov, so it was not immediately clear whether his version of the bill would include this provision as well.

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