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Schumer Seeks To Pull Plug On Robocalls

Senator Calls For Increased Fines, Possible Jail Time For 'Do Not Call' Violators
Sen. Charles Schumer speaks at a news conference in Manhattan on Nov. 24, 2013. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Sen. Charles Schumer speaks at a news conference in Manhattan on Nov. 24, 2013. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer is introducing legislation to try to curb an increasing number of unwanted telemarketing calls.

Schumer, D-N.Y., held a news conference Sunday to announce his strategy against the so-called robocalls.

He said spammers are taking advantage of new technology, legal loopholes and weak penalties to violate federal “do not call” rules.

The senator wants penalties to be increased to a $20,000 fine for each violation and jail time for the most egregious repeat offenders.

“It is a misdemeanor or less for breaking the law, and if you make one call or a million calls, the top fine is only $10,000,” he told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

Schumer also is asking the Federal Trade Commission to publicize the best technological solutions to fight the automatic calls.

As of August, the FTC logged as many as 200,000 robocall complaints a month compared to 65,000 in October 2010, Schumer said.

“The FTC number of complaints has gone up 500 percent in the last two years,” he said.

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