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New law to punish illegal robo calls

SPRINGFIELD -- We've all gotten robo calls, where instead of a person on the other line, it's a recording.
SPRINGFIELD -- We've all gotten robo calls, where instead of a person on the other line, it's a recording. Now a new law aims to keep some these calls from ever being made. WCIA-3's Alex Davis keeps us Connected To The Capitol.

There are two kinds of robo calls, legal and illegal. But under this law, both types could be cut back, thanks to a new reporting process. Romell Hill isn't the only one to get hammered by these robo calls.

"I got a phone call yesterday and I was just like, ummm, I don't even know why these people calling me."

Whether legal or illegal, we usually don't want them. But we don't know how to stop them.

"Oh, I answer because I be wanting to know what they want," says Hill.

Now, legitimate businesses and organizations in Illinois will have to track the calls they make, and the frequency. They must keep these records on hand for up to two years.

"I feel like that's good because we get harassed all the time by these people."

But for those illegal calls, consumers can file complaints against the companies. The consumer could even get paid through the Federal Trade Commission. Senator Pam Althoff, a Republican from McHenry, said it's sending a message companies better be careful in Illinois.

"We can penalize them up to $500 per incident phone call, and then it's also to get the state more teeth that if they go after somebody, there's a significant penalty."

That's good news for people who fall victim to the scams, especially unsuspecting seniors.

"They hear on the phone credit card services or they hear a name that they're familiar with, so they assume it's a legitimate phone call but it's not."

Next time you get one of these calls, stay on the line. Write down as much information as you can and then file a complaint. Record the name or telephone number of the company which called, and the date.

Then, call the Federal Trade Commision Helpline at 1 (866) 382 - 1222. For more information, click here
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