MYNORTHWEST NEWS

New law aims to protect people from phone scams, robocalls

Apr 20, 2023, 1:24 PM

robocalls...

New state law aims to protect people from phone scams and robocalls. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

A new state law that limits robocalls and empowers people and the state’s Attorney General to sue companies over unwanted calls was signed by Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday.

House Bill 1051, the Robocall Spam Protection Act, was introduced by Rep. Mari Leavitt (D-University Place).

“Every time I think about this bill, I think of the countless families in my district and across the state that were threatened and scammed by these robocalls – all while the technology to prevent it existed,” said Rep. Leavitt. “Washington has an obligation to protect those most vulnerable to these scams.”

Gov. Inslee signs bill finding death penalty in WA unconstitutional

The law includes:

The legislature finds that robocalls are increasingly used by entities to mislead and deceive Washington residents and induce them into providing personal information to wrongfully obtain something of value.

It is the intent of the legislature to expand the scope of existing provisions … regulating robocalls and telephone solicitations to prohibit abusive telephone communications that mislead or harm Washington residents.

The legislature further finds that the most effective way to prevent illegal robocalling is to ensure that those calls never originate or enter the telephone network.

Therefore, it is further the intent of the legislature to extend liability to those persons who provide substantial assistance or support in the origination and transmission of robocalls.

The law is intended to hold those who spam individuals with robocalls maliciously accountable.

The single highest number of complaints the Attorney General receives is regarding predatory and dangerous scams affecting seniors, youth, and the most financially vulnerable.

The state already has a law regarding robocalls, but HB 1051 is meant to empower individuals to take further action.

1.1 million Washingtonians lost money to robocalls in 2022 alone, based on TrueCaller survey data.

The bill will take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the legislative session.

MyNorthwest News

uw president cauce...

Frank Sumrall

UW President Ana Mari Cauce to step down after 10 years

UW President Ana Mari Cauce will step down from leading the university once her second five-year term ends in June 2025.

6 hours ago

Image: All lanes on Interstate 5 south in Everett were closed on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. It cause...

Steve Coogan

All lanes have reopened on I-5 south in Everett after an unexpected closure

All lanes reopened on Interstate 5 (I-5) south in Everett after an incident closed them Wednesday, the Department of Transportation reported.

6 hours ago

Image: A dog was found around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at Colman Dock in Seattle without ...

Steve Coogan

Is your friend missing? Dog found on a Washington ferry without its owner

A dog was found without its owner in Seattle early Wednesday and Washington State Ferries is attempting to reunite the two.

7 hours ago

Photo: Front and back of Olympic "Boys in the Boat" rower John White's gold medal....

Julia Dallas

‘Part of our legacy’: ‘Boys in the Boat’ rower’s family yearns to bring gold medal home

"Boys in the Boat" rower John White's Olympic gold medal was put up for auction. His grandson Colby White is fighting to get it back.

7 hours ago

Sinatra-McCaw...

Feliks Banel

Frank Sinatra still sings in Seattle

On a late spring day nearly 60 years ago, one of the biggest names in show business came to Seattle and played a concert on a Sunday evening. It turned out to be a show that’s been echoing in some parts of the music world ever since.

8 hours ago

tacoma fire...

Frank Sumrall

One person, two dogs dead in Tacoma apartment building fire

Firefighters found one person and two dogs dead inside a Tacoma apartment following a fire there early Wednesday.

10 hours ago

New law aims to protect people from phone scams, robocalls