OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Hunter, along with 53 other attorneys general, have sent a letter to the heads of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, urging action on federal legislation that would effectively address illegal scam calls.

The bipartisan legislation, titled the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, would require service providers to adopt technology that verifies that incoming calls are legitimate before they reach consumers’ phones and allows the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fine telemarketers up to $10,000 per prohibited call.

Attorney General Hunter said the legislation also directs federal consumer protection and law enforcement agencies to work alongside state attorneys general to find ways to combat the calls and prosecute individuals or groups making them.

“Attorneys general are uniquely positioned and are on the front line in our states in terms of protecting consumers,” Attorney General Hunter said. “This commonsense legislation will allow us to better partner with federal agencies to come up with solutions that work best for each individual state. It will also help reduce the number of scam calls through technology, while imposing greater penalties on those making the calls.

“My attorneys general colleagues and I encourage quick passage of this legislation to cut down on these scams and better protect Americans.”

In the letter, attorneys general write the estimated number of illegal robocalls received last year reached nearly 48 billion.

“Since illegal robocalls continue to frustrate and harm consumers every day, we are encouraged that the TRACED Act prioritizes timely, industry-wide implementation of call authentication protocols,” the letter reads. 

Attorney General Hunter was joined on the letter by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.