Virginia lawmaker files bill that bans ‘spoof’ phone calls

Posted at 6:57 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 19:00:23-05

RICHMOND, Va. – A bill to get rid of the annoying spam calls that pop up on your caller ID and also appear as a familiar phone number has passed both the Virginia House and Senate.

Delegate Emily Brewer introduced HB 2170 that says it would give law enforcement another unique approach to being able to go after scammers.

“The measure also prohibits a person, with such intent, from displaying (a) Virginia area code on the recipient’s caller identification system unless the person making, placing, or initiating the call or text message maintains a physical presence in the Commonwealth,” HB 2564 reads.

The bill would allow people to report the incoming call number to police. Police then would decide whether they need to track down the number.

Anyone charged with this crime would face a Class 3 misdemeanor to intimidate, defraud, or harass if the bill goes into place.

The bill also raises the penalty to a Class 2 misdemeanor for a second or subsequent conviction.

The bill is now headed to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk. It will be law by July if he signs it.