Senate approves legislation to curtail robo-calls

WASHINGTON, S.D. (KCCR) – The U.S. Senate approved legislation Thursday aimed to clamp down on so-called robo-calls. The calls are initiated by scammers and criminals who are looking to defraud those who receive the calls. South Dakota Senator John Thune co-sponsored the bi-partisan measure with Democratic colleague Senator Ed Markley of Massachusetts. Thune says the robo-calls are likely motivated by money.

The TRACED bill or Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act adds the threat of federal prison time that Thune hopes is motivation for the calls to end or at least be reduced.

Thune says robocalls are made roughly five million times per month.

The TRACED Act also provides for civil forfeiture penalties, promotes call authentication and call blocking adoption.  The measure passed on a 97-1 vote and now heads for consideration by the Democratically controlled House.