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Ohio Legislators Try To Crack Down On Telemarketing

Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville) is one of three Senators and four Republicans on the six member conference committee.
Ohio Senate
Ohio state Sen. Dave Burke is proposing a bill to impose penalties on misleading telemarketing.

State lawmakers want to crack down on what’s known as “spoofing” – the practice often used by telemarketers to mislead a recipient into thinking they are answering a call from someone they know. 

Sen. Dave Burke, who’s proposing a bill in the Ohio Senate, is also a pharmacist who owns a drug store in Marysville.

“My cell number is on the front of the door for after-hours emergency service," Burke says.

But lately, he says his cell has been getting calls, not from customers, but from telemarketers who use the local zip code or even identity of customers to entice him to answer.

“And I won’t even tell you how difficult it is to try to respond to constituents,” Burke says.

The bill Burke’s sponsoring in the Senate is also being sponsored by Rep. Keith Faber in the House. The national “do not call” list has civil penalties and is largely unenforceable, but Faber says this bill is different.

“This provides criminal penalties. It makes this a crime of identity theft,” Faber says.

Backers of the bill say technology can determine whether calls are being spoofed and who is doing the spoofing.