Welch backs legislation to crack down on robocalls

Published: May. 14, 2019 at 4:14 PM EDT
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Vermont Congressman Peter Welch is backing legislation to crack down on unwanted robocalls.

Welch says that in 2018, Americans received 47 billion robocalls, a 64 percent increase since 2016.

The bill would give the FCC more power to track down predatory callers.

Welch unveiled the plan Tuesday at the Burlington International Airport. He was flanked by Kathryn Ottinger, a Vermont senior who says she's been bombarded with daily robocalls.

"I want these phone calls to stop," Ottinger said. "But my real purpose is to stop these annoying calls that disturb the elderly and the handicapped. For a lot of people, it can be hard to stand up to get to the phone to just receive another robocall."

Welch's team says in 2016, scams involving robocalls cost 22 million Americans a total of $9.5 billion.

Our Celine McArthur spoke with tech expert Craig Peterson to get his take on what lawmakers are trying to do to stop the robocalls. Watch the video for the full interview.