Schumer Introduces Bill To Combat RobocallsPosted: Updated:
Thousands of people -- including many in the north country -- were woken up in the middle of the night last week by phone calls that appeared to have come from Africa.
And now Sen. Charles Schumer is announcing legislation to help combat the annoying -- and often costly -- robocalls.
The legislation is called the TRACED Act, which would give federal authorities more tools to combat robocalls.
The act would allow fining schemers $10,000 per call, increase the time for prosecuting robocall schemes from one to three years, require agencies to recommend ways to stop robocalls, and require telecommunications companies to implement call authentication technology, which could help stop robocalls before they reach the phones of unsuspecting victims.
Robocalls use automated dialing systems to play a pre-recorded message. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 99 percent of robocalls are illegitimate or fraudulent.
In last week's spate of calls, many people were duped into calling the numbers back. Anyone who did was switched to an expensive toll call line.
Schumer says despite federal "do not call" rules, robocalls and unwanted spam calls are getting worse by the day. He says $15 million were reported in the Syracuse region in April alone.