TCPA Quick Hitter: Two U.S. Senators Ask FCC and DOJ for More Action on COVID-Related Scam Calls

As we’ve been covering for a while now the FCC and FTC are cracking down on COVID related scam calls.These actions follow on the heels of recent DOJ action against carriers that are allegedly allowing scam calls to flood heir networks. 

Well, if two U.S. Senators have their way there will be a lot more of this sort of action.

On Thursday of last week, U.S. Senators Margaret Wood Hassan (D. N.H.) and Thomas R. Carper (D. Del.) sent joint letters to the DOJ, the FCC, the IRS and the FTC urging additional combined action and asking a series of pointed questions to each agency. The letters–which appear prompted by the recent $225MM fine Rising Eagle—  are available here: TCPAWorld–Senator Letters

In the Senators’ letter to the FCC they ask the following probing and suggestive questions:

  1. Does the FCC have data that indicates how many and what categories of scams that are reported to FCC are related to COVID-19? If yes, please provide a breakdown by number and type of scam.
  2. Please describe how you are coordinating with FTC, DOJ, and IRS to undertake enforcement actions specifically against COVID-19 related scammers.
  3. Is additional direction needed from Congress to ensure that the FCC and DOJ work closer together and actually recoup fines that the FCC levies against robocallers? Does the FCC believe that either agency needs additional authority to collect?
  4. Of the six gateway providers warned by the FCC and FTC in April and May to stop facilitating overseas COVID-19 scam robocalls, have all six complied with the agencies’ directive? Of those that complied, please describe the actions taken by FCC to ensure continued compliance.

The letters to the FTC, DOJ and IRS likewise ask for information related combined efforts to battle COVID-related scam calls.

Separately the FCC issued a big new ruling on Friday–yes in addition to the two other big rulings on Friday– proposing a safeharbor for wireless carriers blocking calls and requiring carriers to participate in traceback efforts.We’ll cover that ruling in a separate post shortly and keep an eye on all of this for you.

Happy Monday.


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