Illegal Robocalls Get The Boot From WA State Lawmakers
Some big changes coming to state law that may help cut the number of illegal robocalls you get everyday. The Washington Legislature has passed the bill Attorney General Bob Ferguson partnered with Rep. Mari Leavitt, to help combat illegal robocalls.
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE LOST MONEY IN THE STATE
According to estimates based on Trucaller survey data, 1.1 million Washingtonians lost money to scam robocalls in 2022 - 265,000 more people than 2021. Check the information at the website https://www.truecaller.com/blog/insights/truecaller-insights-2022-us-spam-scam-report
STATE OFFICIALS SAY THE STATE'S CURRENT LAW IS WEAK AND OUT OF DATE
The bill will modernize state laws by:
"Mirroring federal law to prohibit solicitations to people on the Do Not Call Registry, and providing the Attorney General’s Office authority to enforce this prohibition in state court;
Making it illegal to deliberately falsify a caller ID display to disguise a caller’s identity; and
Creating accountability for voice service providers by making it a violation to knowingly facilitate illegal robocall solicitations. Voice providers are in a unique position to stop the flow of robocalls because they know the origin, frequency and the duration of calls on their service.
PROVIDERS WILL PARTNER TO COMBAT ILLEGAL CALLS
This new law creates an incentive for providers to be a partner in blocking illegal robocalls. For example, a voice provider that has an overseas customer making millions of short duration calls a day into the United States, using caller IDs with area codes that match the called number, are clear indications of illegal robocalls. In addition, when a consumer (or a screening service) receives a known illegal robocall, that call can be trace backed to the originating provider. At which point, the provider has received actual knowledge that the content of the call is a scam, and that its customer is a scammer.
ACCOUNTABILITY IS A KEY TO THE NEW LAW
This law makes providers accountable so that they stop doing business with known bad actors, and so that they implement robocall mitigation measures to monitor for bad actors and stop those robocalls."
The bill, House Bill 1051, passed the Senate late with a unanimous 48-0 vote. With a unanimous 96-0 vote in late February, the state House also passed the bill. The Governor is expected to sign it into law soon.