April 1st, 2019
LITTLE ROCK- Strange phone calls from telemarketers and other organization have become an all too common scenario in recent years as techniques such as “robocalling” and ” callier id spoofing” have come into the forefront.
Typically a “spoofer” will place a phone call which will cause a telephone network to display a fictitious name, number, or both name and number on the receiving party’s caller identification device.
Many “robocalls” will use “caller id spoofing” in combination with automatic dialing systems which send out thousands of phone calls per minute with fictitious names and numbers.
Scammers have been using these techniques to solicit personal information from vulnerable consumers such as senior citizens.
A new bill, SB 514, requires that telecommunications providers and third-party “spoofing” providers are held liable for certain activities and imposes criminal penalties for certain “spoofing” activities.
SB 514 was approved by governor Asa Hutchinson on March 10th, 2019.
” It is unlawful for any person to use a telephone for the purpose of offering any goods or services for sale, or for conveying information regarding any goods or services for the purpose of soliciting the sale or purchase of the goods or services, when the use involves an automated system for the selection and dialing of telephone numbers and the playing of recorded messages when a message is completed to the called number,” states SB 514.
Violation of activities outlined in the bill have been made a Class D Felony.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has been at the forefront of efforts to call for regulation of illegal “robocalls”.
“Arkansans are fed up with incessant robocalls and scams,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This legislation, passed unopposed in both houses, reinforces how determined Arkansans are to stop these illegal calls and creates a path for enforcement to hold the bad actors accountable.”