Consumer News

AG Derek Schmidt urges Congress to toughen law against robocalls

Release Date: Mar 05, 2019

TOPEKA – (March 5, 2019) – Attorney General Derek Schmidt today urged the U.S. Senate to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, legislation to curb illegal robocalls and caller-ID spoofing.

Schmidt, along with the attorneys general from all 49 other states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories, sent a letter to the U. S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation supporting the TRACED Act. The legislation is sponsored by Sens. John Thune, R-SD., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., and would require voice service providers to participate in a call authentication framework to help block unwanted calls. The framework is being established by federal agencies, with the urging of state attorneys general, and the TRACED Act would make it mandatory.

The bill also would create an interagency working group to identify additional actions to reduce robocalls and hold telemarketers and robocallers accountable.

“Any meaningful solution to the explosion in unwanted robocalls has to combine improvements in call-blocking technology with law enforcement efforts,” Schmidt said. “With almost 48 billion robocalls to Americans last year, the problem will only continue to get worse unless we can put up more effective roadblocks for scammers in addition to holding them accountable under the law.”

The nearly 48 billion robocalls made in 2018 made them the number one source of consumer complaints to the FTC and the FCC and resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in consumer losses. In their letter, the attorneys general explain that the TRACED Act would enable states, federal regulators, and telecom providers to take steps to combat these illegal calls.

The Kansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division works to enforce do-not-call laws and protect Kansas consumers from being harassed and scammed by robocalls. 

A copy of the letter can be found at http://bit.ly/2J3aaQ2.

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