robo-calls

Associated Press File

Last year, Mainers were subjected to 93 million robocalls. That’s an average of 73 calls per person. At a hearing of the Senate Aging Committee, experts warned that number is expected to go up this year.

John RAOUX / AP Photo

A bill designed to curb the onslaught of unsolicited robocalls from scammers has advanced in the Maine Legislature, following a unanimous vote by the Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee.

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.”

In an effort to clarify how he really feels about Social Security, Gov. Paul LePage launched a series of robo-calls to targeted voters this week.  This follows a press reolease he issued last week that defined Social Security and Medicare benefits as "welfare." LePage now says that's not accurate. But instead of issuing a correction, the governor is blaming the media for the snafu. And his opponents are dismissing it as too little, too late.