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Sens. Push FCC to Stop Coronavirus Robocalls

The co-authors of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act have called on the FCC and Justice Department to do all they can to prevent coronavirus robocall scams, including using the new powers conferred by the act. 

That came in a letter Monday (March 23) from Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and John Thune (R-S.D.). The FCC is planning next week to consider an item mandating default scam robocall blocking by carriers. 

FCC Releases Agenda for March Meeting 

They told FCC chairman Ajit Pai and Attorney General William Barr that the calls are themselves a dangerous threat to the public, citing a Washington Post report that about a million "suspicious" calls are being placed per day. 

"Robocalls that spread misinformation about cures, peddle ineffective equipment, and offer bogus medical advice have the potential to inflict significant harm on individuals and communities across the country," they wrote. 

They are particularly concerned about the elderly, who are both the most susceptible to the scams, even more so because they are the vulnerable population when it comes to succumbing to the disease.

Markey and Thune want to know by April 2 what steps they will take to address the "scourge."

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.