Thune Says Robocalls Getting Out Of Hand

(WNAX) — South Dakota Senator John Thune, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, convened a hearing titled, “Illegal Robocalls: Calling All to Stop the Scourge.” Saying they have become major irritants…

“Illegal and abusive robocalls must end.  No one is immune to these illegal and potentially dangerous calls.  It’s no surprise that unsolicited robocalls consistently rank among the top consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission and  the Federal Communications Commission.  One report estimated that robocallers rang Americans mobile phones over 26 billion times last year alone.”

Thune says there are some automated calls that are needed…

“Illegal and abusive robocalls are a clear problem, but it’s important to remember that automated calls are not inherently negative.  Many important services are carried out via such calls when companies and call recipients have a pre-stablished relationship. For example, if you’re on your way to the airport and your flight is cancelled…if there is a fraud alert on your credit card or if you’re being reminded of an upcoming medical appointment.  Those are calls that are important to consumers.

Thune sponsored a bill last year to put tougher penalties on companies that misuse and abuse robo calling….

“I introduced the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence or TRACED Act with Senator Markey, bipartisan legislation targeting the worst of the worst. scam artist and others who knowingly violate the law. A credible threat of criminal prosecution is necessary and appropriate for those who knowingly flout laws to prey upon the elderly and otherr vulnerable populations.”

The Commerce Committee unanimously approved that legislation..