News Savvy Scammers May Put Bipartisan Robocall Bill to Test

March 4, 2019

It’s not easy to stop a robocaller.

The Federal Communications Commission has levied millions of dollars in fines for tricking consumers with spoofed calls. Phone companies like Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. offer call-blocking tools and are working with law enforcement to crack down on scammers. Still, the number of robocalls received yearly are in the billions and rising.

After failing at least a dozen times to pass legislation to address the problem, Congress is considering a measure with good prospects of passage. The bipartisan TRACED Act (S. 151) by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) would increase the FCC’s enforcement authority against illegal robocallers and mandate the adoption of call authentication systems. The bill has the backing of the commission as well as both industry and consumer groups…

July 20, 2018

The Federal Communications Commission should create a database of reassigned phone numbers to help reduce unsolicited robocalls and robotexts, two senators urged agency Chairman Ajit Pai.

The database of reassigned phone numbers could help businesses avoid unwittingly calling or texting consumers without consent, Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Markey wrote in a July 19 letter to Pai.

Companies sometimes inadvertently autodial or robotext consumers without their permission because the previous holder of the number gave consent. Unsolicited robocalls can open businesses up to litigation…

June 5, 2017

The head of a group of California companies that helped telemarketers place billions of unlawful robocalls must pay $2.7 million to the Federal Trade Commission under a federal court judgment announced by the FTC June 2 (FTC v. Jones, C.D. Cal., No. 17-00058, default judgment against individual 5/31/17 ).

The court also entered judgment prohibiting the companies from engaging in prohibited telemarketing practices ( FTC v. Jones, C.C.D. Cal., No. 17-00058, default judgment against companies 5/31/17 )…