Sen. McConchie is calling for legislative action on a bill that would put stricter consequences on those who are behind the bothersome robo-calls and scam calls, which seem to keep cell phones ringing non-stop.
Senate Bill 2573 aims to address the growing problem of robo-calls throughout the state. McConchie signed onto the legislation, noting that these types of fraudulent calls are an ongoing form of harassment for many throughout the state.
The legislation strengthens the Illinois Automated Dialers Act by making the act of “spoofing,” where callers disguise their real number by showing up as a different number from the recipient’s caller ID system, a separate violation. The bill also requires prior written consent before callers can use an auto-dialer to initiate a telemarketing call. Both of these changes would align Illinois law with federal law, and would also make the unlawful practices subject to enforcement by the Attorney General.
Estimates place the number of robo-calls per month at 2.4 billion in 2016—that’s up 1.5 billion from 2015. The increase is largely due to Internet-powered phone systems that have made it cheaper and easier to place these calls from anywhere in the world. In October, the Federal Communications Commission reported that telemarketing calls were the number one consumer complaint.