WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Cracking Down on Fraudulent Robocalls

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Senator Jeff Merkley has been swamped with robocalls trying to get him to give his Social Security number to scammers. Sound familiar? This plague is affecting millions of Americans, so recently Jeff wrote a letter to the Social Security Administration (SAA) and the Federal Trade Commission, notifying the agencies of this particularly alarming phone scam — in which the caller impersonates Social Security Administration personnel and threatens to “suspend” the person’s Social Security number. To prevent suspension, the target needs to confirm his or her Social Security number. Jeff is pressing for action to take on this predatory scam.

“Unsolicited calls like the one I received endanger the financial security and right to privacy of millions of Americans,” Jeff said. “Every call a consumer receives in which the caller pretends to be a government official will make consumers question the legitimacy of authentic communication from government agencies, including the SAA.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) acknowledges that “unwanted calls are far and away the biggest consumer complaint” the agency receives, yet unauthorized call scams continue to be a prevalent persistent issue. Jeff requested the agencies respond to the urgent matter, and also introduced the Regulatory Oversight Barring Obnoxious (ROBO) Calls and Texts Act of 2019, which would create a Robocall Division within the FCC Enforcement Bureau to reinforce robocall regulations.

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