Robocalls would be effectively banned in the state of New York under legislation proposed by lawmakers who say the irritating, relentless calls are a top complaint from constituents.
The measure, which passed a Senate committee Tuesday, would prohibit telemarketers from using automatic dialing technology to contact a New Yorker for commercial purposes if they don’t have the person’s prior consent.
Companies that violate the rule could face fines of up to $2,000 per call.
Additionally, telephone companies would be required to offer free services to consumers allowing them to prescreen and block robocalls. The bill would allow the state’s attorney general to fine telemarketers who violate the restrictions up to $2,000 per call.
“It’s time we hang up on these annoying, misleading and sometimes dangerous scams,” said Sen. Brad Holyman, a Manhattan Democrat and one of the sponsors of the legislation, which has not been scheduled for a vote.
Nearly 48 billion robocalls were placed in the U.S. last year. Lawmakers say they’ve heard from constituents who have been specifically targeted for certain robocalls because of their age or ethnicity. The calls often seek to sell a product or, in some cases, perpetrate a scam, such as claiming a person owes money for back taxes or has won a free vacation.