Brendan Keany

Schumer Demands End to Robocall Scams

Senator is pushing new legislation to help crack down on scammers

May 13, 2019 - 12:28 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - Senator Chuck Schumer has been outspoken regarding the need for enhanced robocall legislation, and with more than 207 million robocalls already reported by Buffalo residents in 2019, Schumer continued his crusade against the increasingly annoying scams.

"Everyone has been plagued by robocalls," said Schumer at a press conference at Sports City Pizza Pub. "These calls run from annoying to dangerous."

The senator says there are two reasons that these robocall scams are again on the rise, and both have to do with technology. He says that the scammers have the ability to push a single button and have the ability to make thousands of calls with that single move. Secondly, Schumer says they have found ways to disguise the number they're calling from, which means they can be very difficult to block.

"In fact, many of them will use a 716 area code so that you think that it's someone near you," he said. 

In response, Schumer is pushing to pass the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which would serve to help law enforcement in four different ways:

  • Giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the ability to fine robocall scheme perpetrators $10,000 per call made.
  • Increasing the timeframe under which the FCC could find and prosecute robocall schemes from one to three years after a call is placed.
  • Requiring the Department of Justice (DOJ), FCC, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other agencies and state officials to issue recommendations to Congress on how to further bolster methods to combat robocalls.
  • Requiring telecommunications companies to implement effective call authentication technology, which could help stop robocalls before they reach the phones of unsuspecting victims.

Petter Lovaas works as a professor at Niagara University, and he further explained why he believes the TRACED Act would help consumers and those vulnerable to these types of robocall scams.

“Robocalls are increasingly becoming a problem for Americans nationwide," said Lovaas. "These unwanted 24/7 computer generated calls will stop at nothing to steal from us. The TRACED Act is designed to reintroduce trust in the caller ID functionality through new effective network authentication methods."

Listen to the full press conference below:

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