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FTC officials announce crackdown on robocalls

Posted at 12:39 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 14:39:50-04

The Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement plan to file charges against several companies and individuals as part of a major government clampdown on illegal robocalls, according to CBS News.

The mission, known as “Operation Call it Quits,” includes two FTC commissioners from opposite ends of the political spectrum: Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, a Democrat, and Noah Phillips, a Republican.

The FTC is announcing a major crackdown on illegal robocalls, including 94 actions targeting operations around the country that they say are responsible for more than 1 billion calls.

The commission said companies targeted in the enforcement actions were using robocalls to pitch everything from “bogus credit card interest rate reduction services” to “fraudulent money-making opportunities” and “medical alert systems,” according to CBS News.

Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-MT) recently introduced legislation, the Tracing Back and Catching Unlawful Robocalls Act, to assist in the identification and prosecution of companies who participate in illegal robocalls, according to a press release.

“Montanans continue to tell me about their frustrations with the repeated onslaught of illegal robocalls,” Gianforte stated. “The calls are deceitful and damaging, and can put seniors and others at risk. My amendment strengthens the ‘Stopping Bad Robocalls Act’ and provides tools to push back against the companies who knowingly take part in the malicious calls.”

In May, Montana’s U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines voted to hang up on robocalls, helping pass the bipartisan Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act​—also known as the TRACED Act—through the Senate.

Phillips called “Operation Call it Quits” part of the solution to the problem, acknowledging it’s going to take engagement from the industry and technological development to push back.