Delegate introduces legislation to stop scam calls

Published 8:01 pm Friday, January 18, 2019

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Michael Kemp


Del. Emily Brewer (R-64) introduced legislation for the 2019 General Assembly Session to prevent fraudsters from taking advantage of Virginians with spoofed phone numbers. Scammers are using this tactic to commit serious criminal offenses like identity theft and investment scams.

“We all receive these annoying phone calls, sometimes multiple times each day. What some people may not realize is these are scam calls, fishing for private information. Virginians are being tricked into draining their retirement accounts for thousands of dollars to avoid being thrown in jail by the fake sheriff or IRS agent on the other end of the call,” said Brewer. “This legislation isn’t the end fix, but it is the first step. The General Assembly has a responsibility to provide localities the ability to prosecute these serious crimes.”

HB 2170 would make it a Class 3 misdemeanor for any person who, with the intent to defraud, mislead, deceive, intimidate, or harass, makes a telephone calls or engages in conduct that results in the display of false caller identification information on the called party’s telephone. Scammers are using cheap and widely available technology to make these calls that appear to come from local numbers, a process called “Spoofing.”

“This is commonsense legislation that is a non-partisan issue,” said Brewer, “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly to help make spoofed calls illegal in Virginia.”

Elected to the House of Delegates in November 2017, Brewer represents the 64th District, which includes portions of the cities of Franklin and Suffolk, and the counties of Southampton, Isle of Wight, Surry, Sussex and Prince George.

MICHAEL KEMP is the legislative aide to Del. Brewer. Contact him at 804-698-1064 or