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Consumer Reports Hails Senate Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Help Stop “Spoofed” Robocalls

Thursday, May 23, 2019

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate today passed a bipartisan bill to help address the growing problem of “spoofed” robocalls that use fraudulent caller identification information to disguise the caller’s true identity.

Led by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act) would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop rules requiring providers of telephone voice services to implement an effective framework for authenticating calls, and rules to enable them to block spoofed calls before they reach the consumer.  The bill (S. 151)  would also increase potential civil forfeitures for intentional violations of the Telephone Consumer Privacy Act (TCPA).

Consumer Reports welcomed the progress in the effort against unwanted robocalls.

“Consumers have had enough of robocalls, and this bill will help crack down on some of the worst kinds of calls.  Too often, scammers use robocalls to take advantage of consumers. For years, the robocall problem has only gotten worse, yet phone companies have been slow to take responsibility to address it,” said Maureen Mahoney, policy analyst for Consumer Reports. “Consumer Reports applauds the Senate for passing the TRACED Act, which will require voice service providers to adopt technology that will help stop unwanted ‘spoofed’ calls. Caller ID spoofing has long been used by scammers to deceive consumers into answering their phones. Consumer Reports commends the Senate for taking this bipartisan action, and we look forward to working with the House so that effective legislation to reduce the scourge of unwanted robocalls is enacted into law.”

 

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Contact:  David Butler, Consumer Reports, (202) 462-6262, dbutler@consumer.org

 

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.