State of the State: Cuomo presses telecoms to block robocalls

Local News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo took on robocalls in his 2020 State of the State address on Wednesday. Cuomo proposes regulating telecommunication companies and service providers, requiring them to thwart suspected robocalls. 

Cuomo’s proposal eyes the fraudsters behind robocalls or nuisance calls, mandating that phone companies deploy new software and technology for consumer protection. Potential legislation provides for new ways to unmask hidden identities of fraudulent or spoofed callers. 

A multipronged legislative package would require updating such blocking tech as it improves, or as robocallers innovate new methods to falsify calls and circumvent barriers. It would also require prompt adoption of available tools that authenticate calls, flag callers, and warn of potential scams, including those from out-of-state. 

Cuomo would assess penalties of up to $100,000 per day against noncompliant companies and would double current maximum fines for “Do Not Call” violators to up to $22,000 per call.

Robocalls represented 45% of mobile calls in 2019, and bothered New Yorkers receive over 10 million of them daily. Telemarketers and con artists deceive and irritate consumers by phone, driving people to avoid unfamiliar numbers. Legitimate communications from businesses, healthcare providers, and schools are regularly ignored and lost, casualties of the robocall scourge. 

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