JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri lawmakers are stepping up the state's efforts to try to stop fake phone calls.
Legislation passed Thursday by the Senate would prohibit "call spoofing," in which telemarketers mask their true identities by displaying a false phone number or name on a caller identification system. The goal typically is to trick people into answering a call they might otherwise ignore.
If also passed by the House, the measure would expand upon an existing state law that prohibits solicitors to residential phone customers from blocking or circumventing a caller identification service.
The federal and state governments both maintain no-call lists, which allow people to make their phone numbers off-limits to many telemarketers. Missouri's list has more than 4.3 million phone numbers on it.
A separate bill that has cleared a House committee would expand Missouri's no-call list to include business phone numbers. It also would allow recipients of call spoofing to sue the callers for actual damages and punitive damages of up to $5,000 per call.
HOUSE BACKS CAR SEAT BILL: Children younger than 2 would have to be strapped into rear-facing car seats whenever traveling in Missouri, if a bill passed Thursday by the state House becomes law.
Supporters said the legislation would better protect young children in the case of vehicle collisions or sudden braking.
State law currently requires a child passenger restraint system for children until they reach age 4 or weigh at least 40 pounds, whichever comes later. But Missouri law currently doesn't address whether infants must be placed in rear-facing seats, which could better restrain their bodies.
Eleven other states have some sort of law requiring rear-facing child restraint systems until age 2, and nine additional states require it until age 1, according to the national Governors Highway Safety Association.
The Missouri House passed the legislation by a 105-41 vote. It now goes to the Senate.