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Politics

Collins Calls For Crack Down On Robo-Call Scammers

Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is calling for stepped up prosecution of scammers using robo-calls to prey on elderly Americans.

Federal officials say nearly 2.4 billion robocalls are made every month, and many are scams aimed at seniors.  At a Senate Aging Committee hearing on the issue, Collins said more resources are needed to prosecute the scammers.

“Law enforcement works. It deters others from committing the crime," said Collins, the committee's chair. "If we are going to win this fight, we need to better our understanding of these con artists and their scams.”

Collins, a Republican, said one method scammers use is to prompt fake telephone numbers to appear on the victim's caller ID screen. One of the top schemes, she said, involves callers claiming to be from the IRS demanding immediate payment of phony tax debts.

Collins said it’s time to use the same computer technology that has spurred the proliferation of robo-calls to stop them from reaching consumers. "My husband and I received so many on out landline in Bangor, we discontinued the landline,” she said.