WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan joined her colleagues in introducing legislation to deter harmful robocalls by cracking down on the individuals who intentionally harass consumers. The Deter Obnoxious, Nefarious, and Outrageous Telephone (DO NOT) Call Act would increase penalties on companies and individuals placing deceptive calls, which can number in the billions per year, and help block them from taking advantage of people, particularly seniors.
“Granite State grandparents deserve better than to be scammed by robocalls,” said Senator Hassan. “These illegal calls are on the rise and this commonsense bill cracks down on deceptive calls that prey on our most vulnerable in New Hampshire. This bill would help deter individuals and companies from making illegal robocalls by increasing penalties, including added prison time.”
Although robocalls are outlawed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), they have still surged nationwide, and they are frequently used to defraud or scam the public, including vulnerable seniors. To deter them, the DO NOT Call Act would:
- 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.
Senator Hassan is committed to protecting Granite Staters’ peace of mind and hard-earned savings from robocallers. Last year, Senator Hassan called on the federal government to aggressively crack down on scammers seeking to take advantage of Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the Senator also helped introduce a bipartisan bill, that was signed into law, which requires call authentication and blocking technology to be made available free of charge to consumers.