WASHINGTON – Representative Tom Rice (R-S.C.) today introduced legislation to crack down on a deceptive tactic used by robocallers. The Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act will aid Americans who are being inundated with robocalls.  

“Robocallers prey on elderly and innocent Americans with elaborate schemes to access financial information. The legislation I’ve introduced today will crack down on these scammers and ensure the penalties for illegal spoofing are just,” said Congressman Tom Rice.

The legislation will double the penalties for illegal caller-ID “spoofing,” a tactic scammers often use to trick victims into answering their phone calls.  By disguising their true identity, scammers can masquerade as government officials or well-known businesses and convince consumers to share their personal and financial information. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to new phone, text, and email scams that seek to trick or frighten consumers into sharing personal information and financial details.

The Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act would double the penalties for illegal spoofing under existing law, increasing the fine per violation from $10,000 to $20,000 and increasing the maximum fine from $1 million to $2 million. 

Consumers can help protect themselves from fraud by:

  • Hanging up on suspicious calls from “government officials” calling about a problem
  • Never making payments with gift cards, wire transfers, or by mailing cash
  • Reporting Social Security scams to https://oig.ssa.gov/
  • Reporting other scams to www.reportfraud.ftc.gov.

Background:

Congressman Tom Rice has introduced this bill in the U.S. House of Representatives as a companion bill to the legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Gary Peters (D-MI). 

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