Attorney General Becerra Applauds Federal Communications Commission’s Proposed Rule to Help Trace Unlawful Robocalls
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today, as part of a coalition of 52 attorneys general, submitted a comment letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of its proposed rule regarding the selection of a registered neutral third-party consortium to conduct robocall traceback investigations under the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED) Act. Tracebacks are the mechanism for tracking the path of a robocall through multiple upstream carriers, and are essential to law enforcement efforts in addressing illegal robocalls. Enacted in 2019, the TRACED Act established a process for the FCC to select a neutral third party to manage the private-led traceback efforts. In the letter, the coalition underscores the interest of state attorneys general in cooperating with the selected group to combat illegal robocalls.
“Today’s letter makes it clear – tracebacks are absolutely essential in our efforts to end illegal robocalls,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We can’t do this alone, and we applaud the Federal Communications Commission for its efforts in selecting a group to manage private-led traceback efforts. Our office looks forward to working with the selected group so that we can tackle this problem together and further protect consumers.”
Illegal and unwanted robocalls harm consumers and interrupt our daily lives. Consumer fraud often originates with a robocall. Robocalls and telemarketing calls have historically been the number one source of consumer complaints to both the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). According to the FTC, consumers reported a total loss of $429 million as a result of these phone-based frauds in 2018.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting consumers as a top priority. In August 2019, as an executive committee member of the NAAG Robocall Technologies Working Group, Attorney General Becerra worked with the telecommunications industry to reach an agreement on the Anti-Robocall Principles. In May 2019, Attorney General Becerra joined a bipartisan comment letter in support of the FCC’s proposed rules to improve and expand the prohibition on caller ID spoofing. In April 2020, Attorney General Becerra sent a letter to the FCC asking them to make further commitments to protect consumers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In May 2020, Attorney General Becerra sent a letter to telecommunications industry trade group, USTelecom, urging them to continue to expand their enforcement efforts against illegal robocalls.
In sending the letter, Attorney General Becerra joins the Attorneys General of North Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
A copy of the comment letter can be found here.