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ICYMI: Chairman Latta: Robocalls are a scourge, but you can do something about it


04.26.18

WASHINGTON, DC – Ahead of tomorrow’s subcommittee hearing on combating robocalls and caller ID scams, Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) took to The Washington Examiner to discuss the many tools available to help consumers protect themselves in his latest op-ed.

Read on to learn about #SubDCCP’s work to empower consumers and curtail the prevalence of illegal robocalls.

Robocalls are a scourge, but you can do something about it
By Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH)

It happens to all of us.

We’re settling into our evening dinner routine, and the phone rings with a “blocked” or “unknown” number, commonly referred to as a “robocall.” Not only are these automated, pre-recorded calls a nuisance, they’re illegal. They can range from annoying telemarketing messages to menacing scams targeted at unwitting victims, often senior citizens.

Unfortunately, this problem is getting worse. Every day, tens of thousands of American consumers report receiving a robocall.

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, which I chair, will hold a hearing on the solutions and strategies available to consumers to combat the scourge of robocalls, spoofing, and scams. It’s critical that we help ensure consumers understand their options when it comes to robocalls, along with reviewing the laws on the books to fight them.

As technology evolves, scammers have more tricks available to convince unwitting call recipients to answer the phone. Many of you might have noticed that these calls are often coming from phone numbers that look similar to ones in your town or city. Scammers are deliberately falsifying caller ID information knowing that a consumer is more likely to answer a phone call that appears to be local. This trick is known as “neighbor spoofing” and this tactic has been on the rise. Over the years, spoofing has grown into one of the key deceptive tactics behind unwanted calls and texts to both wireline and wireless phones.

Advanced technologies like spoofing and Internet-enabled phone services have made it significantly easier and cheaper to initiate robocalls from anywhere in the world. Outside of tricking consumers, it also helps scanners avoid detection and prosecution from regulators like the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission which have protections on the books. …

Click here to read the full op-ed online.

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