Sending Office: Honorable Jackie Speier
Stop Unwanted Robocalls: be an original cosponsor of the ROBOCOP Act of 2019
Supported by: Consumers Union and National Consumer Law Center
Consumers lose over $350 million to phone scams each year. The Do Not Call list is supposed to protect consumers from unwanted calls, and yet last year the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 3 million complaints. This is because the Do Not Call
list does not protect consumers from law-breakers and overseas scammers. Consumers Union estimates that these crooks have racked up more than $1.2 billion in fines, but so far the FTC has been able to collect less than 9 percent of the penalties. That’s not
much of a deterrent.
It is technically possible for telecommunications providers to verify caller ID, but there has been no impetus for them to do so. Technology to block robocalls also exists, but is not widely available or easy to use, particularly for landline telephones.
It’s time to take back our phone lines. That’s why I’m reintroducing the Repeated Objectionable Bothering of Consumers on Phones (ROBOCOP) Act. This bill takes the following actions:
- Directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to require telecom companies to verify that caller ID is accurate
- Expands probation on inaccurate caller ID to include calls and text messages that originate outside the United States
- Provides an exception for consumers with legitimate need for altered caller ID, such as medical offices and domestic violence shelters
- Directs the FCC to require telecom companies to offer consumers optional free robocall-blocking technology
- The technology would not block public safety entities and calls that the consumer consents to receive (e.g., school closings)
- Gives consumers a private right of action against telecom companies that violate this statute
- Requires the FCC, in consultation with the FTC, to make a public report on whether the new rules have reduced unwanted calls
To be an original cosponsor or to obtain a copy of the bill, please contact
Anne-Marie.Boisseau@mail.house.gov. The deadline to be an original cosponsor is
3pm Monday, January 14th.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0