WASHINGTON – Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen recently cosponsored bipartisan legislation to address the increasing number of robocall scams targeting Granite Staters and Americans. The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act gives regulators more time to find scammers, increases civil forfeiture penalties on those caught, promotes call authentication and blocking adoption, and brings relevant federal agencies and state attorneys general together to evaluate policies and resources needed to better prosecute and deter illegal robocalls.
As one report estimated, the number of spam calls will grow from 29 percent of all phone calls in 2018 to 45 percent of all calls this year. The TRACED Act would give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) more flexibility to enforce rules in the short term while setting in motion consultations to increase prosecutions of violations, which often require international cooperation. The legislation was introduced by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and John Thune (R-SD).
“As robocalls become increasingly common, we need to give state and federal officials better tools to go after scammers,” Senator Hassan said. “This bipartisan legislation will help strengthen consumer protections and better hold scammers accountable.”
“For too long, Granite Staters have been inundated with illegal, disruptive robocalls. It’s time for Congress to take action and put an end to these scams,” Senator Shaheen said. “I’m glad to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation that will protect consumers and enhance enforcement against aggressive solicitation schemes.”
Last year, Senator Hassan cosponsored the Deter Obnoxious, Nefarious, and Outrageous Telephone Calls Act or the DO NOT Call Act of 2018 in order to improve law enforcement and enhance penalties for violations made under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Both Shaheen and Hassan cosponsored the Robocall Enforcement Enhancement Act, which would lengthen the statute of limitations for pursuing robocall violations.
Summary of the TRACED Act: