Tong bill cracks down on telephone fraud

April 22, 2016

Rep. William Tong urges crackdown on telephone fraud.

Rep. William Tong, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, led the House of Representatives Friday in passing legislation he introduced 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.

“Con artists and criminals are using increasingly more sophisticated ways over the telephone to prey upon unsuspecting people and trick them out of their savings or property,” Tong said. “We need to crack down on this type of criminal activity and protect people who are vulnerable to con artists.”

“This legislation gives law enforcement authorities more tools for going after criminals and protecting people,” Tong said.