Lawmakers consider bill making spoofing illegal

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Some receive one a month, while others receive 10 a day. Despite the number, more and more people are receiving spam calls. A House committee held hearings on Tuesday regarding a bill that may slow down this number.

HB 2620 makes spoofing or masking one’s phone number with one of a business, neighbor, or another local number to convince the recipient to answer, illegal.

Kristi Robuck of Topeka says she receives an average of 10 to 15 spam calls per day on her cell phone.

“There’s a lot of different ones out there,” Robuck said. “Some of them say they’re from the police department. It’s an ongoing issue.”

Many of these calls target the elderly, saying they are from the Social Security Administration and asking for money, Robuck said.

“What if it’s your grandmother? We have to protect the elderly, that’s all there is to it,” Robuck said. “My mother gets five to six calls on a rotary phone a day, and she just hangs up on them.”

The House Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications held hearings for this bill, which featured testimony by Attorney General Derek Schmidt and numerous law enforcement officers.

“It’s rampant,” said Rep. Mark Schreiber, R-Emporia, vice-chair of the committee. “I don’t know of anybody that hasn’t received many of them and they want them to stop.”

The bill, if passed, would only prevent a small number of the spam calls Kansans receive, Schreiber said.

“It’s probably going to have a minor effect because a lot of the bad actors are from overseas and they (law enforcement)…can’t track them over there, unfortunately,” Schreiber said.

However, the bill could help in domestic violence cases where a person will spoof their partner to contact them, Schreiber said.

The committee will have a final say on the bill on Thursday and will potentially pass it without any amendments, Schreiber said.

If it passes in the Senate, spoofers will receive a $10,000 fine per violation.

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