The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has unanimously approved the Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act of 2021 (Modernization Act). The bill, S. 594, was introduced in March of 2021 by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and was originally co-sponsored by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Gary Peters (D-MI). It would “double the penalties for illegal caller-ID ‘spoofing,’ a tactic scammers often use to trick victims into answering their phone calls.”
The Truth In Caller ID Act (47.U.S.C. 227(e) enacted in 2010 “prohibits the use of misleading or inaccurate caller-ID information to intentionally defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.” Current penalties under the statute are $10,000 per violation with a maximum fine of $1 million.” The Modernization Act would double those penalties to $20,000 and $2 million, respectively.
In her press release after Committee approval, Senator Collins said: “Older Americans lose billions of dollars each year to an ever-growing array of financial exploitation schemes. These scams vary in nature, from COVID-19 scams to government imposter scams to prize, sweepstakes, and lottery scams…We must work together to stop the criminals who use illegal robocalls and spoofing to steal Americans’ hard-earned savings and personal information. By increasing penalties for spoofing violations, the bipartisan Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act would provide an additional tool in this fight. I am pleased that the Commerce Committee advanced our legislation today, and I urge my colleagues to support its passage.”