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U.S. Senate To Tackle Illegal Robocalls

Rick Bowmer

Legislation proposed in the U.S. Senate would increase penalties for companies that use illegal robocalls.

New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said consumers nationwide lose about $40 billion a year through telemarketing fraud. They said companies unjustly target older residents through unsolicited and illegal robocalls.

The DO NOT Call Act would give the Federal Communications Commission the legal framework to hand-off violations to prosecutors.

Offenders could be sentenced up to three years in prison for knowingly and aggressively violating consumer protection laws. They could also be fined up to $20,000 for falsifying their caller ID.

Nearly 4.5 billion robocalls targeted Americans this past April alone. Of those calls, 229 million rang New Yorkers.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.