State senator introduces bill targeting phone fraud in Michigan

Posted at 4:33 PM, Nov 13, 2019

State Senator Jim Runestad introduced a bill on Tuesday that would target phone fraud in Michigan.

Senate Bill 647 would create state penalties for "phone spoofing" to give more options for state prosecution of the crimes.

Sen. Jon Bumstead introduced a companion bill that adds the sentencing guidelines into the criminal code.

Phone spoofing occurs when a caller changes caller ID to any number other than the actual calling number.

“Sometimes a camouflaged call can be your own personal phone line, and you may receive an angry call from a stranger wondering why you are harassing them,” said Runestad “While disguising your phone number is not illegal, doing so with the intent to commit fraud is.”

The legislation would make it a state felony for a person to commit phone spoofing with the intent to commit fraud. Violators would face up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Spoofers can also use caller IDs that reflect telephone numbers to get you to answer your phone.

Some analysts estimate that U.S. consumers receive nearly 4 billion robocalls per month.

For more information on the legislation, click here.