WASHINGTON (NEWS10) – U.S. Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined Senate colleagues in calling for legislation to increase penalties for automated and illegal phone calls. The Deter Obnoxious, Nefarious, and Outrageous Telephone (DO NOT) Call Act would increase penalties for individuals and companies intentionally preying on consumers through unsolicited and illegal robocalls.
According to YouMail, nearly 4.5 billion robocalls targeted Americans in April 2021. Of those calls, 229,042,000 took place in New York State, making it the fifth most-called state in the nation. The Office of the New York Attorney General says consumers lose approximately $40 billion a year through telemarketing fraud.
“From every corner of New York there is one thing everyone can agree upon, and that is the enduring hope that the robocalls stop,” said Senator Schumer. “Americans are desperate to ‘hang up the phone’ and the DO NOT Call Act is the antidote we need to cut the cord on ‘spoofing’ scams that target especially elderly New Yorkers. Whether it’s the landline or cell, no one should be scared to pick up the phone.”
The Deter Obnoxious, Nefarious, and Outrageous Telephone (DO NOT) Call Act would:
- Clarify violations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which outlaws robocalls
- Allow prison terms of up to one year for willfully and knowingly violating the TCPA
- Allow prison terms of up to three years for aggravated violations of the TCPA
- Double the maximum penalties under the TCPA for falsifying caller ID, from $10,000 to $20,000