Sinema Calls for Increased Measures to Protect Seniors from Illegal Robocalls

Jul 17, 2019

Senator announces new bipartisan legislation to stop criminals from using robocalls to target seniors

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema today spoke at a Senate Aging Committee hearing on the need to crack down on illegal robocalls. At today’s hearing, Sinema also announced that she is joining Republican Senator Susan Collins (Maine), Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, on the Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act – new bipartisan legislation to increase penalties on criminals targeting and manipulating seniors.

“Robocalls are more than just a nuisance, and we must go after the criminals who use robocalls to harass seniors. That is why I am proud to join Chairman Collins in introducing new legislation to update existing penalties for illegal spoofing,” said Sinema.

“Protecting American seniors from scammers who seek to defraud them is a central goal of the Senate Aging Committee,” said Senator Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee.  “Robocallers use ‘spoofing’ to hide their true identity, a key to the success of their notorious scams. The Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act will complement the Committee’s work to deter robocallers by doubling existing penalties and extending the statute of limitations on illegal spoofing.”

Robocalls are the number one consumer complaint that the Arizona Attorney General receives, and more than 550 million robocalls have been placed to Arizonans in just the first six months of 2019. 

During the hearing, Sinema highlighted the story of Maggie from Tucson whose elderly parents were robbed of their life savings in a sweepstake scam. Maggie’s father is twenty-year United States Air Force veteran, living with Alzheimer’s, and has lost much of what they saved from his military pension. Their story underscores the need to act and protect Arizona seniors from scams.

Earlier this year, Sinema joined Senator Collins on the bipartisan Senior Security Act, which creates a task force focused on protecting Arizona seniors from financial crimes and scammers. Sinema also cosponsored the bipartisan TRACED Act, which cracks down on illegal robocalls and holds perpetrators of such robocalls accountable. Her efforts protecting seniors from scams build on her work last year in the U.S. House as a leader on the Senior Safe Act. The Senior Safe Act enables financial institutions to work with law enforcement in order to stop the financial abuse of seniors. Sinema led the passage of the Senior Safe Act in the U.S. House and worked with Senator Susan Collins, who cosponsored companion legislation in the Senate, to get it signed into law.