Bills to End Spam Robocalls are Signed into Law
Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) announces that two of her bills to stop the daily nuisance of spam robocalls have been signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul. “This legislation is a significant step in ending the current and escalating scourge of robocalls,” said Paulin. “At the same time, they will help protect consumers from fraudulent and costly robocall schemes. Robocalls are a quality-of-life issue and with these new laws we are tackling them head-on.”
A585a/S4281a requires telecommunication companies to authenticate calls using STIR/SHAKEN technology in order to crack down on spam robocalls. The measure will prevent nuisance callers from using technology to “spoof” their identity with a fake, invalid number, while also making it easier for authorities to trace illegal calls back to their source.
A268a/S6267a requires telecommunication providers to block calls coming from numbers that are not valid North American numbering plan numbers, numbers that are valid but are not allocated to a provider, and valid numbers that are allocated to a provider but are unused. The law also requires providers to block calls when the subscriber assigned to a number has requested that calls purporting to originate from such number be blocked because such number is only used for inbound calls.
Robocalls present a significant nuisance for New Yorkers on a daily basis and are the top consumer complaint received by the Federal Communications Commission. Year over year the issue has worsened exponentially, and figures indicate that it will continue to worsen unless preventive measures are implemented to combat the problem. Requiring telecommunication providers to block these calls will afford much needed safeguards to decrease the number of unwanted robocalls New Yorkers receive.
“Robocalls are disruptive, pervasive, and serve no benefit to families and communities. Blocking robocalls can protect vulnerable consumer populations from predatory practices, in particular our seniors who have been targeted by scammers during the pandemic. I am proud to sponsor this legislation, which blocks the majority of robocalls and I am grateful to Governor Hochul for taking this step to help New Yorkers feel safe when using their phones.”
In many instances robocalls are scams targeted at consumers. “The scams are all different, and there won’t be a single silver bullet to fix them all, but these new laws attack the problem from multiple angles,” said Paulin.
“Robocalls are a daily annoyance,” continued Paulin. “No one wants to answer the phone anymore. You can’t even trust calls from local numbers. By requiring providers to utilize technology that prevents spoofed numbers and proactively block calls that are clearly illegitimate, these laws are a critical step towards ending this nuisance. It’s time to take back control of our phones and end this telephone harassment.”
A585a/S4281a is sponsored in the New York Senate by Senator Todd Kaminsky and A268a/S6267a is sponsored by Senator Jeremy Cooney.