WASHINGTON, D.C. ― In response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote to affirm that voice services providers may, by default, block unwanted calls, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) sent a letter to the heads of AT&T, T-Mobil and Verizon, urging the phone carriers to deploy robocall blocking technologies at no additional charge to New Mexican consumers.
“I know you share my belief that we have a responsibility to ensure that consumers are not unduly targeted or scammed by violators of telemarketing laws,” Sen. Heinrich wrote. “It is estimated that consumers receive approximately 5 billion robocalls a month. Many of these unwanted calls are illegal scams that prey on the most vulnerable.”
Heinrich added, “Given the significant public interest in this matter, I respectfully request that you promptly install blocking technology at no charge and I look forward to working together to ensure consumers are protected from fraudulent calls and illegal scams.”
Heinrich championed the Senate passage of S. 151, the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, a bill he cosponsored to provide regulators more time to find scammers, increase civil forfeiture penalties for those caught, promote call authentication and blocking adoption, and bring relevant federal agencies and state attorneys general together to address impediments to criminal prosecution of robocallers who intentionally violate laws.