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District 72 Update: Robocalls

Newsletter for Monday, September 23, 2019

September 25, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

When we visit with constituents, some of the most common and persistent consumer complaints are about those irritating and sometimes frightening robocalls that we're all bombarded with day and night.

Robocalls are recorded messages from scam artists to unsuspecting consumers. The scammers often use automatic dialers to make large batches of calls that are designed to get consumers to provide financial or personal information.

Robocalls are on the rise, with 26 billion calls placed in the U.S. just last year. We know that Iowans are tired of getting these calls around the clock. They not only keep cell phones ringing non-stop, but they are burdensome and potentially costly.

Article Photos

State Rep. Dean Fisher
R-Mnotour

That's why we made it a priority to address the issue by proposing a statewide legislative solution to crack down on these fraudulent calls and protect Iowans from these scammers. But as we worked to implement this policy, we learned that, ultimately, a state-level solution would not be practical, as robocalling is a national problem.

We are happy to learn that many states attorneys general from across the country have joined together with the national telephone industry to protect consumers from unscrupulous scammers. In June, the Federal Communications Commission finally ruled that carriers could block robocalls for their customers by default - without requiring a customer opt in first.

Now, many of the telephone companies will be able to deliver free services that automatically block fraud calls, provide screen alerts for suspected spam calls and help protect smartphones from potential threats. AT&T, for example, is now able to offer its Call Protect service by default; customers will now automatically get the free service. These kinds of solutions are exactly what we were hoping the telephone industry would be able to deliver.

The FCC also provides resources for consumers at fcc.gov/unwanted-calls.

We urge our constituents to access resources available to protect themselves from potential scams, and we continue to urge telephone companies to remain vigilant in our shared goal of protecting Iowans from the risks and the hassle of robocalls.

 
 
 

 

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