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2.16.22 – News on 6 

Robocalls are annoying, inconvenient and they could soon become illegal under a bill passed Wednesday by the House Technology Committee.

Logan Phillips, R-Bixby, the bill’s author, joked, “I’ve been called several times.”

Phillips, the chairman of the House Technology Committee, said his own grandmother was also scammed over the phone.

“These kinds of people drive me crazy and I can’t stand them, so anything I can do to destroy their market, I’m willing to do it,” he said.

Philips’ HB3168 bans automated sales calls, most all sales calls before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m., and more than three sales calls within a 24-hour period on the same issue.

However, the bill can only target calls made within the United States.

“If we pass this, is it going to fix the problem,” Representative Andy Fugate, D-Del City, asked during the committee’s discussion.

“For companies that are operating in the United States, or in Oklahoma that are spoofing phone numbers, it’s happening about 30%,” Phillips said. This will have a direct impact on their business model and those who are treating our people badly.

“Don’t fix it, but it will definitely help,” he said.

The state’s AARP said seniors in particular are the target of malicious calls.

“We need to make it a legitimate phone call for us, all Oklahomans, but especially older Oklahomans to use their phones to conduct their daily business, to stay in touch with their families and to know when they should be called. There’s a call.” said Chad Mullen with AARP Oklahoma.

He said last year, Oklahomans lost more than $10 million in scams. The AARP estimates that Oklahoma receives six spam calls every second.

This bill is now worthy of hearing in the full house.