Sinema Continues Cracking Down on Phone Scammers who Target Arizona Seniors During Pandemic

Mar 4, 2021

Senator’s bipartisan bill strengthens penalties for criminals targeting Arizona seniors through phone scams

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema partnered with Republican Senator Susan Collins (Maine) to reintroduce the Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act—bipartisan legislation that strengthens penalties for criminals who illegally spoof phone numbers attempting to scam Arizonans.
“Our bipartisan bill holds criminals, who deliberately target vulnerable communities in Arizona, accountable,” said Sinema.

In 2020, Arizonans reported an increase in robocalls due to the pandemic. Scammers have attempted a common technique known as “spoofing,” which is when a scammer masks their identity to trick victims into answering the phone. These scammers have used spoofing to appear to be from the IRS, Social Security, or the same zip code as the victim, and trick Arizonans into revealing personal information such as their Social Security numbers in order to access grocery delivery services, Social Security benefits, stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and COVID-19 tests and vaccines.
Sinema’s bipartisan legislation updates and strengthens the penalties for illegal spoofing prohibited under the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2010. This bill doubles the penalties for illegal spoofing, increasing the fine per violation from $10,000 to $20,000 and increasing the maximum fine from $1 million to $2 million.
Sinema championed the TRACED Act, which was signed into law last year. Sinema’s Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act is part of Sinema’s bipartisan work to combat senior fraud in Arizona with Senator Collins—including the passage of the Senior Safe Act into law while Sinema was serving in the U.S. House.