Letter sent to U.S. Senate seeks protections for Kentuckians bombarded by illegal robocalls
FRANKFORT, KY. (March 5, 2019) – Attorney General Andy Beshear today urged the U.S. Senate to enact legislation to curb illegal scam phone calls and caller ID spoofing.
Beshear, joining 53 of the nation’s attorneys general, sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation supporting the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, sponsored by Sens. John Thune and Ed Markey.
“Kentuckians are fed up with the constant barrage of scam calls,” said Beshear. “I am joining a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from across the country to support the TRACED Act, which, if enacted, will aid states, federal regulators and telecom providers in fighting illegal scam calls.”
The legislation would require voice service providers to participate in a call authentication framework to help block unwanted calls and create an interagency working group to take additional actions to reduce scam calls and hold telemarketers and robocallers accountable.
More than 48 billion robocalls were made in 2018, making them the number one source of consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and resulting in millions in consumer losses.
Since taking office, Beshear and his Office of Senior Protection and Mediation and Office of Consumer Protection have worked to stop scams and scam calls.
Beshear said his Office of Consumer Protection receives more than a thousand complaints each year with respect to scam calls, telemarketing complaints and robocalls.
In October 2018, Beshear called on federal regulators to allow telephone service providers to block more illegal robocalls being made to Kentuckians.
More than 30 state attorneys general and Beshear detailed in their letter that scammers have devised methods like “neighborhood spoofing” to evade a call blocking order issued by the FCC.
In December, the Office of the Attorney General met with the FCC, who is pressing cell phone carriers to provide better scam call identification and blocking tools to their subscribers. Earlier this month, the FCC issued a report that states the industry is working on a system to validate caller ID and end illegal spoofing by verifying that a call actually comes from the number shown on the caller ID.
In January, Beshear sent a letter to Rep. Kevin D. Bratcher, of Louisville, in support of his bill, House Bill 84, which aims to combat con artists who spoof Kentucky phone numbers to try to trick Kentuckians into falling victim to their scams.
Beshear encourages all Kentuckians to use the National Do Not Call Registry provided by the FCC and to report scam calls via his office’s online form.
To help Kentuckians stay ahead of scammers Beshear launched Scam Alerts. To enroll in the scam warning system, text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV-311 (468-311) or online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.
Nearly 24,000 Kentuckians are signed up to receive Scam Alerts.
With the help of more than 160 community partners, including Kroger, AARP and the Better Business Bureau, the office has directly talked with nearly 20,000 Kentuckians in 49 counties at 242 stops on scam prevention.
When Kentuckians fall victim to scams and bad business practices, Beshear’s office is there to help them recover.
Beshear’s administration has returned more than $2 million to Kentuckians, averaging nearly $2,600 a day back in the pockets of Kentucky families.