BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT
The Ombudsman Alert has complained about the fraudulent scam calls made by companies attempting to convince unsuspecting consumers to call a certain 800 number with the threat that by NOT making such a call they would be billed up to $299,99. This clearly illegal practice has increased over the past year, resulting in the Ombudsman Alert’s appeal to Congresswoman Nita Lowey and State Senator David Carlucci to file legislation banning this practice in their respective lawmaking bodies.
Congresswoman Lowey told the Ombudsman Alert:
“According to the YouMail robocall index, which estimates monthly robocall volume in the United States, Americans receive more than 4 billion robocalls a month. Outside of the annoyance they cause, these robocalls often subject vulnerable consumers to unwanted and predatory telemarking and debt collection schemes. The federal government has a responsibility to protect consumers from telephone harassment and scams.
“That is why I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. This bill would empower the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with stronger enforcement tools to reign in robocallers and require telecommunication companies, like AT&T and Verizon, to verify that caller ID is accurate.
“In addition to my strong support for the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, I frequently send informative emails and hold events to warn my constituents of the dangers of scams. When Medicare was sending out new cards, scammers were trying to steal identities by contacting people claiming more personal information was needed to receive the card. As soon as I was made aware of the scam, I emailed my constituents with a warning to protect their personal information and facts about the new cards.
“My office is here to help educate constituents on the dangers of robocalls and scams and is also able to help people throughout the Lower Hudson Valley navigate these situations should they fall victim to these damaging scams. I will continue closely monitoring this important issue and pushing for reform at the federal level.”
State Senator Carlucci said:
“We won’t tolerate crooks with a phone. The Do Not Call Registry isn’t working. I co-sponsor legislation prohibiting companies from calling consumers without required consent, while mandating telephone companies offer customers free tools to stop unwanted robocalls.”
In conclusion, the efforts of our Congresswoman as well as our state senator in filing such legislation will help to ensure that these annoying calls will finally be terminated. Please encourage them to follow through on their promise.
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