Bill Targeting Illegal Robocallers Ready for Senate Consideration & Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation targeting illegal robocall scams has earned the support of U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), who is cosponsoring a measure that responds to consumer complaints about the annoying and often illegal tactics.

The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act would create new tools for regulators and law enforcement to prevent illegal robocalls, while toughening penalties for robocall scammers.

“There probably isn’t one household in Mississippi that isn’t fed up with robocalls, especially the spoof calls intended to trick people into giving up personal information or worse,” Hyde-Smith said.  “I think this is a well-balanced bill to fight the scammers and give consumers opportunities to protect themselves.”

The TRACED Act (S.151), introduced by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) has the support of attorneys general across the country, as well as major industry associations and all members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission.

The bill would, among other things, improve the ability of the FCC to nail intentional scammers and establish a protocol for call identification to help prevent caller ID spoofing.  It would also authorize a working group under the U.S. Attorney General to recommend additional legislation, regulation, and policy changes to further deter criminal robocalls and punish violators.

Enhanced penalties and enforcement tools in the bill would be limited to intentional scammers.  The FCC would not be given new authority to pursue companies calling in good faith but accidentally violate robocall restrictions.

The measure, which was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this month, is now available for consideration by the Senate.  It has 52 cosponsors.