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Bill Would Ban All Robocalls In Massachusetts

BOSTON (CBS) - We get them almost every day and the problem of robocalls is on a rapid rise locally and nationally.

A bill going through the State House now would penalize scammers going after your money.

Youmail, an app based company designed to stop robocalls, estimates more than 9 million of those calls came in to the Boston area last month alone.

Lori Possel says, "Usually from the IRS that I owe money or surveys. I get a lot of survey calls."

Mike McNamara says, "It's annoying and frustrating. I've even had a couple on my cell phone that was totally in Chinese."

State House Representative William Straus introduced a bill to ban those robocalls to cell phones. The person responsible would be fined $10,000 for each call. Plus, an additional $1,500 if the person answering is 65 and older.

Straus says, "In the absence of Federal action, I think the states are within their right to protect themselves from this kind of activity."

The bill says the State Attorney General would be in charge of enforcing the would be law. The Attorney General's office tells WBZ they have not taken a stance on the issue but are reviewing it.

Straus says, "I believe the case law is clear enough that we have the right in Massachusetts to protect our citizens."

Straus says it could be tough to fine the callers who are out of the country. However, what this law would do is put that caller on the state's radar and the state would block that number before it reaches a Massachusetts citizen's cell phone.

"There will ultimately be local communication links to your cell phone that makes this law enforceable," Straus explains.

Straus created a similar bill to this one a few years back, but it died in the house. He believes this time around will be different.

There are some exceptions in the bill. Robocalls would be allowed to schools, the government, and hospitals in certain situations.


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