Bill cracks down on telephone scammers

April 22, 2016

Rep. David Baram, House chairman of the legislature’s General Law Committee, joined his colleagues Friday in the House of Representatives in passing legislation that cracks down on fraud committed through telephone solicitation and that compels the disclosure of cellular telephone and Internet records.

The legislation, HB 5635, makes it a felony crime of telephone fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine, for knowingly and intentionally devising or participating in a scheme to defraud someone of money or property by using a telephone and making false promises to the person being called or messaged.

“Every year, thousands of people lose money to telephone scams — from a few dollars to their life savings. Scammers will say anything to cheat people out of money. This legislation that I voted for is aimed at stopping the scammers and hopefully putting them out of business,” Baram said.

The bill now goes to the Senate.