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Federal legislation aims to combat robocall scammers

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling for federal action to combat unwelcome robocalls.

The senator is sponsoring the bipartisan TRACED Act, which supporters say would give the federal government the ability to trace robocalls and prosecute scammers.

The legislation would allow the FCC to fine robocall scammers $10,000 per call and change the time frame for prosecution from one year to three.

Telecommunications companies would also be required to use call authentication technology. The technology would recognize a robocall before your phone even rings.

"No matter how they spoof it, it goes back to the original number number and the common carrier – Verizon or AT&T – can stop it because it's not from the original number. They will know the spoofer," said Schumer.

Schumer said citizens in the Rochester area received more than 54 million robocalls this year. Some of those calls involved Fairport Police with scammers spoofing the department's number.

"These scammers are using the police department number to defraud others under the pretense of obtaining bail money," said Chief Samuel Farina.

Melissa Pennise of Perinton is a mother of two. She worries, by screening unknown numbers, she may miss an important call.

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