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Gillibrand proposes bill to combat AI-enhanced robocalls and scams

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is set to reintroduce the Do Not Call Act, targeting the rising threat of robocalls and AI-enabled phone scams that cost Americans billions annually.

Gillibrand’s announcement comes amid growing concerns over the sophistication of these scams, which have been increasingly utilizing artificial intelligence technology to mimic the voices of relatives, thus posing a significant danger to consumers, particularly seniors.

The proposed legislation seeks to bolster enforcement and increase penalties under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Key provisions include a one-year prison sentence for knowing and willful TCPA violations, doubling fines for falsifying caller ID information from $10,000 to $20,000, and imposing longer sentences for repeat offenders. Gillibrand emphasized the psychological tactics employed by scammers, especially against older individuals, often using high-pressure methods and exploiting their insecurities.

Senator Gillibrand advises caution against these sophisticated scams. She highlighted common strategies such as high-pressure tactics, unsolicited outreach, and the use of spelling and grammar errors typical in AI-generated messages. The senator recommends that if one feels pressured, they should request a call-back number and hang up, verify the identity of family members claiming to be in distress, and familiarize themselves with the nature of robocalls and phone scams. For reporting suspected scams, she directs individuals to, state Attorney Generals, or local law enforcement.