Senate Approves Legislation Banning Deceptive “Spoofing” Phone Calls

HARRISBURG – In an effort to crack down on deceptive and nuisance telephone calls, the Senate today approved a bill banning the practice of caller ID “spoofing,” according to Senator Dan Laughlin (R-49) who supported the bill.

Senate Bill 236 is designed to protect citizens from misleading telemarketing “robocalls,” particularly those that disguise their real phone number by making it look like a local number, increasing the likelihood that the call will be answered.

The computerized telemarketing messages can be intrusive, and can also prey on trusting Pennsylvanians, including vulnerable senior citizens because the calls come across the Caller ID as being a local number and are intended to confuse and defraud the recipients. The legislation also prevents telemarketing calls before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

“Robocalls are a common nuisance in today’s society, and are especially burdensome to senior citizens,” said Senator Laughlin. “When the phone numbers are spoofed to appear to be from the local area, a senior citizen may believe the call to be from a family member or a neighbor contacting them about an emergency, especially when these calls are made later in the evening. Instead, the individual is met with a computerized telemarketing message.”

Senate Bill 236 now heads to the House of Representatives for its consideration.

Contact: Matt Azeles

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