New bill hopes to stop illegal robocalls - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

New bill hopes to stop illegal robocalls

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(WSIL) -- Lawmakers hope to keep scammers from targeting you by reducing robocalls. 

Senators in Washington D.C. said Americans are losing billions of dollars each year to these scams and they're ready to put a stop to it. 

One of the legislators behind the new bill is U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois. 

Durbin said most of the time, the scammers on the other end of your phone are looking to steal your personal and financial information. 

According to Youmail Robocall Index, in the month of April, nearly five billion people received a robocall. 

"Are you sick and tired of robocalls?," Durbin asked during an interview on Wednesday.  "Because I sure am and I decided to do something about it, by introducing legislation that's going to create new penalties for those who abuse the law."

Durbin said this new legislation would make it easier for people to sue those who violate the Do-Not-Call Registry. 

Carbondale resident Matt Bishop said he gets robocalls all the time. 

"Lot of times it's a credit card or loan company," Bishop said. "A few times, if it's a local phone, I will call the number back and they will say, 'I didn't call you,' or "That wasn't me.'"

Carbondale High School student Katie Martin said she also gets robocalls. 

"I probably like one a day, probably at most, four a week," Martin said. 

Durbin said most Robocalls, whether on a cellphone or home phone, are used to entice senior citizens to spend money they don't need to. 

"They get nervous and they panic and some of them do the wrong thing and give out too much information on the phone or they send people to people they shouldn't," Durbin said. 

These calls can be masked, appearing to come from an area code you might recognize. 

Durbin said the federal government never calls you on the phone to talk about taxes or social security

"If there is anything the federal government needs to contact you about, they will do it by mail," Durbin said. 

This new bill doesn't convince Bishop it will completely stop him from getting robocalls. 

"There is always a loophole," Bishop said. "If they legislate something, they will find their way around something else."

Martin agrees with Bishop that this possible law wouldn't completely ban spam calls.

"It would be a long process, that's for sure and they are really good at hiding their tracks," Martin said. 

Bishop and Martin said that for now, just ignore the calls. 

"I think the best thing we can do, is once you know the minute you pick up it's not what it is, just hang up," Martin said. 

More than a hundred chimed-in on this issue over on News 3's Facebook page, expressing frustration with robocalls. 

You can comment on the post by clicking here. 

Click here to view the bill. 

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