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Gianforte Continues Work to Protect Montanans From “Malicious and Deceptive” Robocalls

May 16, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Greg Gianforte yesterday continued his efforts to protect Montanans from illegal robocalls and pressed the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the issue.

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At a Communications and Technology subcommittee hearing, Gianforte asked FCC Chairman Ajit Pai how the agency is preventing robocalls.

“Montanans have told me one of the worst things they face day to day are illegal robocalls. They’re getting called with bogus insurance offers, threats of legal action, and promises of government grants. Robocall scams put Montanans at risk of being robbed or having their identity stolen. These kinds of robocalls are malicious and deceptive,” Gianforte said.

“Chairman Pai, can you outline what you’re doing to prevent robocalls?” Gianforte asked.

Pai responded, “We've been taking aggressive action.” Pai detailed how the FCC is combating spoofed numbers, improving its data infrastructure, and leveling “the largest fines ever imposed in the FCC’s history.”

Pai described one of his goals to fight illegal robocalls. “I’m proposing, and I hope that my colleagues will agree, to allow robocall blocking by default so that consumers don’t have to affirmatively opt into those services,” Pai said.

Gianforte recently signed onto the STOP Robocalls Act, which would make law Pai’s idea for administrative action. The legislation provides for an automatic opt-in for blocking technology at no cost to consumers.

Gianforte thanked Pai for the FCC’s work to end illegal robocalls and asked him to provide further recommendations to Congress for legislative action.

“I think we have bipartisan support for action in this area,” Gianforte said.

At one recent congressional hearing, Gianforte pressed Federal Trade Commission officials about how the agency is combating robocalls. At another hearing, he described a young Montanan’s heartbreaking story about how she received a robocall from the number of her recently deceased little brother.