By Congressman David Schweikert
I am excited to report Congress has finally passed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, legislation creating stronger and more robust policy to combat illegal robocalls.
Now that this legislation has been signed into law, phone companies will be held responsible for verifying calls, and criminals working behind illicit robocalls will be held accountable.
Robocalls have become an incessant problem faced by the people of Arizona. These calls are likely telecommunications providers or can entail fraudulent activity. Do not call lists are proving to be ineffective, and I have been working to advocate for increased transparency and higher penalties for unauthorized calls. After introduction, I knew I needed to co-sponsor the TRACED Act because it was strong, bipartisan legislation that would provide a solution from Arizonans. This legislation increases the authority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand civil penalties of up to $10,000 dollars for telemarketers who violate legal call restrictions and accommodates the FCC by allowing more time to administer these laws. It also puts legal responsibility on telephone companies to verify incoming phone calls.
I am proud of the work my colleagues and I were able to accomplish by working across party lines to pass thoughtful and effective legislation, and I am grateful to have been a part of this effort. To take greater preventive measures, I have included below links to resources for you to use to learn more about what Cox Communications in Arizona is doing and information from the National Do Not Call Registry about how you can stop receiving unwanted calls.
If you are a Cox Communications customer, they are providing free access for you to a third-party app called NoMoRoBo. This app can be set up easily at cox.com/residential/support/setting-up-nomorobo.html
To add your number to the do not call registry, visit the National Do Not Call Registry online at donotcall.gov.
For more information on how the do not call registry works, the steps to add your number to the list, and how to report a robocall, you can visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0108-national-do-not-call-registry. Alternatively, you can call 1-888-382-1222, but you must call from the telephone number you would like to add to the list.