Are you being spoofed? State lawmakers are looking to stop it.


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - Are you being spoofed?

State lawmakers are looking to stop it. It’s when telemarketers or scammers call using your number or a local one trying to sell something or get your personal information.

It happened to Natasha Aiken about three times a day while she was at work. “I would think that it would be someone important like my children or my husband,” Aiken said. “However, it was just a random number that seemed localized, and it was an automated person who’d be on the phone.”

She was so annoyed by the calls she downloaded an app to block them, but there might not be a need for that app much longer.

House Representative Richard Martin is proposing a plan that would fine and prosecute spoofers for scamming. “A lot of vulnerable people will answer it, and once they get them on the phone, they start rolling,” Martin said. “Not only is it annoying, but it takes up your time when you can be doing something else.”

Right now, there are federal laws in place, but Martin said he wants harsher punishments at the state level. They would apply to callers who don't have a physical address in the state but are using a South Carolina area code. “It’s going through subcommittee now, and they’re going to amend it and make my bill even stronger,” Martin said. “And put the penalties so tough on them that we are going to light these people up.”

Which could make answering calls from strange numbers easier to answer for people like Natasha Aiken.“I would be happy for it,” Aiken said. “Because I won't receive those annoying calls and maybe I can stop using hiya to screen calls all day.”

Martin said the elderly are most vulnerable to the scamming, but some phones may allow you to block a number from calling.

A simple rule to follow is, if you don't recognize the number, it's just best not to answer.

You can find more safety tips by clicking here.

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