FCC Chairman proposes spoofed robocall rules

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WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission is working to crack down on scam artists.

On Monday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed the adoption of new rules banning malicious caller ID spoofing of text messages and international calls.

“Scammers often robocall us from overseas, and when they do, they typically spoof their numbers to try and trick consumers,” said Chairman Pai.  “Call center fraudsters often pretend to be calling from trusted organizations and use pressure tactics to steal from Americans.  We must attack this problem with every tool we have.  With these new rules, we’ll close the loopholes that hamstring law enforcement when they try to pursue international scammers and scammers using text messaging.”

The proposal comes after a bipartisan statement from more than 40 attorneys general, asking the FCC to adopt the new rules.

“The proposed rule changes would broaden the authority of the Commission to hold these criminals accountable for the significant harm they inflict on U.S. consumers.  As State Attorneys General on the front lines fighting these scammers, we are acutely aware that many of these calls are coming from criminals, located overseas, utilizing caller ID spoofing, and we are also seeing more scams being perpetrated via text message, as contemplated in the RAY BAUM’S Act,” a letter from attorneys generals read.

The new rules would ensure that the agency is able to bring enforcement actions against scammers who spoof text messages and those who seek out victims in this country from overseas.

The FCC received more than 35,000 complaints about caller ID spoofing in the first six months of 2019.

The commission will vote on the new rules during its Aug. 1 meeting.

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