AG Derek Schmidt applauds Congress for passage of new law to fight illegal robocalls

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Kansas Attorney General

TOPEKA – (December 19, 2019) – Attorney General Derek Schmidt today applauded the U.S. Senate for unanimously passing the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, legislation to curb illegal robocalls and caller-ID spoofing.

The legislation, which won Senate approval today, previously was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives with near unanimous support. It now heads to President Donald Trump for signature into law.

“I long have advocated for this legislation as an important part of a meaningful solution to the explosion in unwanted robocalls,” Schmidt said. “Meaningful action must combine improvements in call-blocking technology with law enforcement efforts. With today’s passage of the TRACED Act, Congress has taken an important bipartisan step toward putting up more effective technological roadblocks for scammers, as well as better enabling law enforcement authorities to find the robocallers and hold them accountable under the law.”

The new legislation requires 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 creates an interagency working group to identify additional actions to reduce robocalls and hold telemarketers and robocallers accountable. Many of its provisions codify in federal law measures previously agreed by major telecommunications companies and several state attorneys general, including Attorney General Schmidt. A copy of the announcement for that agreement, reached in August, can be found at https://bit.ly/35Fe0WG.

In March, 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 urging enactment of the TRACED Act. A copy of the letter can be found at http://bit.ly/2J3aaQ2.

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.

The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division works to enforce do-not-call laws and protect Kansas consumers from being harassed and scammed by robocalls. Kansans who may have been scammed by a robocall may contact the Consumer Protection Division at (800) 432-2310 or at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.