Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler

Representing the 4th District of Missouri
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Instagram icon
YouTube icon
Click to go to mail form
Click to get search form

Hartzler Supports Tougher Penalties to Crack Down on Intrusive Robocalls

December 4, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) today supported the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, legislation which will crack down on illegal and abusive robocalls and text messages. The bill passed the House and will now head to the White House for the President’s approval.

“Illegal robocalls are insidious in nature and prey on seniors. More often than not, robocallers are looking to scare vulnerable people into giving up whatever savings they have, using tactics like fake threats of having their social security benefits canceled or the fake threat of jail time. These scammers also target other groups with dishonest and fraudulent claims, including disabled veterans or families caring for children with disabilities,” Hartzler said. “They violate our privacy and are an unsolicited burden to many of my constituents. This legislation helps rein in these calls and punish those who disgustingly prey on vulnerable people.

Specifically, the TRACED Act increases civil forfeiture penalties for those who are caught illegally spamming people with fraudulent and harmful calls. It creates a nationwide caller authentication system to drastically improve the accuracy of caller ID systems and help consumers block unlawful calls at no extra charge. Finally, the bill also seeks to harmonize coordinated efforts among federal and state agencies prosecuting robocallers.

“The inconvenience and burden of illegal robocalls is something too many of us have experienced. It is time to protect all Americans from these attacks and bolster our capability to block illegal robocalls.”

This is the second piece of legislation Hartzler has supported addressing invasive robocalls. Earlier this year Hartzler supported H.R. 3375, the Stop Bad Robocalls Act. The bill, which passed the House 429-3, sought similar penalties against robocallers who intended to defraud vulnerable people. It also supported new technology to ensure the authentication of calls and the blocking of illegal calls without an extra line-item charge to consumers.