Assemblymember Amy Paulin Passes Bills in the Legislature to Help End Spam Robocalls

Albany, New York The Legislature has passed two of Assemblymember Amy Paulin’s bills to stop the daily nuisance of spam robocalls. “These bills are 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.”

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 bill 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 the it will only 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.

“New Yorkers are fed up with endless spam calls, many of which are ‘spoofed’ with a fake phone number in an effort to make the recipient believe the caller is legitimate,” said Senator Kaminsky. “This bill would crack down on these nuisance calls, inhibiting scammers and spammers from continuing to conceal their identities, while ensuring they can be traced and held accountable. Robocalls are a real quality-of-life issue and it is long past time we tackled them head-on.”

"Robocalls are not only an everyday nuisance, but also a predatory practice used to attack vulnerable populations,” said Senator Jeremy Cooney. “Blocking robocalls can protect consumers from fraud, in particular our seniors who have been targeted by scammers during the pandemic. Stopping as many illegitimate calls as possible will help New Yorkers feel secure when using their phones."

“Robocalls are a daily annoyance,” said Paulin. “No one wants to answer the phone anymore. You can’t even trust calls from local numbers. This bill is a critical step towards ending this nuisance by requiring that providers use technology that impedes the ability of spam callers to spoof local, genuine-looking numbers. Enough is enough of 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.