In July 2021 alone, Americans received an estimated 5.74 billion robocalls and 7.1 billion spam texts – including COVID-19 tracing impersonators, car warranty cons, and Medicare scams targeting seniors
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Amid a rise in unsolicited text messages and ongoing robocalls, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take aggressive action to curb these scams plaguing consumers. Blumenthal called on the agency to strengthen anti-robocall laws, require phone carriers to block illegal marketing, and bring enforcement action against those behind the schemes.
“I encourage the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take action to strengthen our anti-robocall laws, require carriers to block illegal marketing, and bring enforcement actions against the culprits and enablers of these schemes,” Blumenthal wrote to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel.
Blumenthal praised initial actions taken by the agency, but called for a swift implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN protocol to require all telephone carriers to put an end to spoofed calls, emphasizing that “Years spent waiting is billions of dollars lost to fraud.”
Blumenthal urged the FCC to take urgent action on the rise in unsolicited text messages flooding consumers’ phones with fraudulent and malicious content, writing: “I urge the FCC to use all of its authorities, including investigations, rulemaking, and enforcement, to address unwanted text messages, send a deterrent message to marketers, and identify technical solutions.” This rise in text message scams has led to a reported $88 million in consumer losses.
The full text of the letter can be found here.