Release date: 3/5/2019
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today led a coalition of 54 attorneys general urging the U.S. Senate to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, legislation to curb illegal robocalls and spoofing. Attorney General Stein, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald, and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood are leading this coalition of all 50 states, three U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. The legislation is sponsored by Sens. John Thune and Ed Markey.
“My office received more than 1,600 consumer complaints about unwanted robocalls last year,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “These calls aren’t just a nuisance – scammers use them to defraud people out of money. The TRACED Act will help us take steps to block these calls, and I will continue my work leading a bipartisan group of attorneys general to find additional technology solutions to this problem.”
In their letter, the attorneys general state that the TRACED Act enables states, federal regulators, and telecom providers to act 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.
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.
In addition to leading this coalition, Attorney General Stein is also leading a multistate group of 39 attorneys general focused on the technology major telecom companies are pursuing to minimize unwanted robocalls.
Attorney General Stein is joined in sending this letter by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, 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 Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
A copy of the letter can be found here.
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484