California Senator Introduces Legislation Against Illegal Robocall Scams

State. Sen. Ben Hueso seeks an end to fraudulent callers using local numbers to reach consumers.

2/13/2019 2:00 PM

California Senator Introduces Legislation Against Illegal Robocall Scams

State level legislators including California State Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, are seeking to end the use of robocalls and scams impacting consumers.

Hueso introduced the Consumer Call Protection Act of 2019 (SB 208) to stop illegal scams known as “neighbor spoofing” in which scammers attempt to trick consumers into answering calls from imposters posing as local callers, according to news release.

“Scammers use spoofing as a means of ensuring that consumers will answer their calls,” Hueso said in the news release. “While consumers may answer these calls expecting to speak with a friend, family member, or local business, they frequently receive an automated message from a robocall system attempting to defraud them and steal personal information.”

The legislation sets a deadline for telecommunications providers to take the steps necessary to stop these illegal scams, while also ensuring that the California Public Utilities Commission can collaborate with the California Attorney General’s Office to support action against illegal robocallers.

By July 1, 2020, telecommunications providers would be required to implement the STIR/SHAKEN protocols as part of a system suggested by a Federal Communications Commission task force in 2016. This system is known as the Secure Telephony Identity Revisited and Secure Handling of Asserted information using “toKENs” (STIR/SHAKEN) protocols, according to the news release from Hueso’s office. In addition to limiting spoofed calls, the implementation of these protocols can help identify numbers associated with illegal robocalling operations, enabling law enforcement to act against these robocallers.

According to the North American Numbering Council, a federal advisory committee for the FCC, the SHAKEN/STIR protocols for call authentication include two technical specifications that confirm a caller’s identity and then “allow communications service providers to attest the legitimacy of a calling party’s number,” ACA International previously reported.

Federal legislators as well as the FCC continue to pursue efforts to end illegal robocalls.

Recently, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Ranking Member U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., reintroduced the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act to direct the FCC to expand the definition of an autodialer, ACA International previously reported. Pallone’s legislation would make it harder for legitimate businesses to contact consumers, and for those consumers to learn about information they need to preserve their ability to access credit, health services, and a large variety of other exigent information.

Also, in the House, U.S. Rep. Garrett Graves, R-La., reintroduced legislation that would require the Federal Trade Commission and FCC to set up a pilot program to reduce robocalls.

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Related Content from ACA International:

ACA International Challenges Stopping Bad Robocalls Act

Louisiana Congressman Seeks Pilot Program to Reduce Robocalls

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