(WBNG) - U.S. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand are calling for legislation to enhance 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.
Sen. Chuck Schumer said, “From every corner of New York there is one thing everyone can agree upon, and that is the enduring hope that the robocalls stop."
According to YouMail, nearly 4.5 billion robocalls targeted Americans in April of 2021 alone.
Of those calls, 229,042,000 took place in New York State, making it the fifth most-called state in the nation. Consumers lose approximately $40 billion a year through telemarketing fraud.
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.
“This vital piece of legislation will give the FCC the tools needed to combat scammers who grossly violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and, all too often, target and defraud senior Americans. I am a fierce advocate of the DO NOT Call Act, and will do everything I can to put sensible protections in place and put an end to unsolicited robocalls,” said Gillibrand.