Democrats, Republicans want to fight robocalls


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Robocalls are annoying, relentless… and also fraudulent.

Robocallers scam, steal and defraud their victims, and seniors are among those who are targeted most. That is something that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. 

“I got a text from my mother on Tuesday, ‘I’m reaching out to my Senator, I just got spam calls,'” Senator Brian Schatz said.

The Hawaii senator says robocallers should not be able to fake caller ID’s. Currently, there are resources and technology like ‘do not call’ lists and apps that help block robocalls. But experts told lawmakers that robocallers are finding ways around those tools, and Congress seems ready to step in. 

Senator John Thune of South Dakota introduced the Traced Act which would crack down on illegal robocalls.

“It will create a credible threat of prosecution and prison, for those who intentionally violate the law,” Thune said.

But companies who use phone calls for legitimate business, like sales pitches and debt collection, are fighting back. They say current and proposed laws could prevent them from doing business.

“We want to ensure that the bad illegal robocalls are stopped or blocked or mitigated and that legal legitimate calls will go through,” Kevin Rupy with the Broadband Association said.

There is also a cost to consumers. Lawmakers are worried that phone and internet service providers may raise prices to pay for the technology to block the calls. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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