04.07.21

Holland Sentinel: Peters co-sponsors bill to crack down on robocalls

WASHINGTON — Legislation introduced in Congress by Sen. Gary Peters would stiffen penalties against robocallers using illegal caller-ID to scam people.

Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, was among the lawmakers introducing the Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act of 2021 in the Senate Thursday. The bill is similar to legislation Peters co-sponsored in Congress' previous session in 2019.

The bill would raise the fine for deploying caller-ID schemes from $10,000 to $20,000 per violation and increase the maximum fine for organizing predatory “spoofing” campaigns from $1 million to $2 million.

 “The millions of robocalls that Michiganders receive are not just annoying, but in many cases are outright scams. Unfortunately, scammers are using ever-sophisticated scams to better ensure their robocalls are answered,” Peters said in a statement. “I’m pleased to introduce this commonsense, bipartisan legislation to crack down on these robocalls and increase penalties for illegal spoofing.”

Robocall scams often target potential victims to try to obtain personal information. Scammers sometimes pose as businesses or government officials, and often use numbers that appear local on someone's caller-ID.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, robocalls have increased in volume because improved technology makes it affordable and accessible for scammers to make mass robocalls with illegal caller ID. In 2019, Americans received almost 59 billion robocalls, a 22 percent increase from the previous year.

In addition to Peters, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, also co-sponsored the legislation.


Source: Holland Sentinel