Herring seeks end to robocalls

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Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring today urged the U.S. Senate to curb illegal robocalls and spoofing by enacting the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act.

Herring and a coalition of 54 attorneys general sent a letter to the U. S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation supporting the TRACED Act. The legislation has bipartisan support and is sponsored by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

“The rise in robocalls and spoofed calls is annoying for many of us, disruptive for first-responders and health providers on call, and it can even be dangerous if there’s a scammer on the other end,” said Herring.“The TRACED Act is really important because scammers and robocallers continue to use more sophisticated technology to hide their identity and our laws must keep up. It’s going to take state law enforcement, federal law enforcement and regulators, and phone companies all working together to get these calls under control.”

In their letter, the attorneys general state that the TRACED Act enables states, federal regulators, and telecom providers to take steps to combat these illegal calls. The legislation will require voice service providers to participate in a call authentication framework to help block unwanted calls and creates an interagency working group to take additional actions to reduce robocalls and hold telemarketers and robocallers accountable.

48 billion calls

More than 48 billion robocalls were made in 2018, making them the number one source of consumer complaints to the FTC and the FCC and resulting in millions in consumer losses. The state attorneys general work to enforce do-not-call laws and protect consumers in their states from being harassed and scammed by robocalls.

Herring is joined on the letter by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

 

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.