A bipartisan group of four senators led by Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a bill that would increase the fines for callers who unlawfully “spoof” their caller ID information. Spoofing is a technique often used by callers making illegal robocalls designed to trick recipients into answering their phone. Spoofers will mask their caller ID information to appear to be calling from a government agency, well-known business, or someone in the recipient’s area to establish trust and convince the recipient of the call to provide financial and other personal information. The Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act of 2021 would double the fines currently permitted under the Communications Act. The current civil forfeiture penalty for each violation would increase from $10,000 to $20,000, or three times that amount for each day of a continuing violation. The current $1,000,000 maximum penalty for any continuing violation would increase to $2,000,000.
The Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act of 2021, S. 594, has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, of which two of the bill’s co-sponsors, Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), are members.