MADISON, Wis. – State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin, State Rep. Jason Fields, D-Milwaukee, and State Sen. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, authored legislation that would give consumers additional recourse when receiving unwanted telemarketing calls.
Assembly Bill 147 incorporates federal law into state statue by prohibiting the intentional falsification of information that is transmitted to a caller ID display if it is done with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. This portion of the legislation will help to address scam phone calls that use spoofing to disguise their numbers to look like they are coming from a local number.
“Most people have received unwanted phone calls from numbers that they think may be a friend or family member. As a matter of fact, the Wisconsin Department of Consumer Protection indicated that the number one consumer complaint is from people receiving unwanted telemarketing calls. Our bill will help ensure the Department of Consumer Protection has the ability to investigate and take action against criminals trying to scam citizens throughout Wisconsin,” Sanfelippo said.
The bill also states a telecommunications provider may block calls so that they do not reach the called party if the origination number is not valid, is not allocated to a provider, or is confirmed by the provider to unused; or if the person who owns the phone number has asked that outgoing calls claiming to be from that number be blocked.
Assembly Bill 147 includes a provision that prohibits telephone solicitors from spoofing for any purpose.
“This legislation is an important step in the fight against these intrusive robocalls,” said Rep. Fields. “It has become so much of a problem that the sheer volume of these calls is staggering. According to YouMail Robocall Index, nearly 48 BILLION robocalls were made to Americans in 2018.
“These calls are not just a nuisance, they can also cause a state of distress to those on the receiving end.
“We need to protect Wisconsinites, especially our most vulnerable citizens, from these aggressive scammers which is why I am proud to be part of this vital, bipartisan legislation,” Fields said.