Attorney General Raoul Defends Anti-robocall Provisions
Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a coalition of 33 attorneys general in filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing for the preservation of the anti-robocall provisions of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The TCPA, enacted in 1991, is a critical piece of federal consumer-protection law allowing individuals to sue illegal robocallers or states to sue on their residents’ behalf. A decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit recently invalidated a portion of the act, potentially jeopardizing the entire federal robocall ban. In the brief, Raoul and the coalition argue that eliminating the robocall ban threatens the ability of states to fight one of the most pressing consumer protection issues residents face. In January 2020 alone, Americans received more than 4.7 billion robocalls
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“Complaints related to robocalls continue to be among the most common consumer complaints my office receives,” Raoul said. “Robocalls cost consumers time and money, as well as violate their privacy. I will continue to protect the rights of Illinois consumers by fighting against this illegal practice.”
In the brief, Raoul and the coalition assert that if the recent exemption for federal government debt collection is held to be unconstitutional, the TCPA’s severability clause should remove that exemption from the remaining robocall ban rather than invalidate the ban entirely. The coalition maintains that the robocall ban is critical in safeguarding personal and residential privacy by prohibiting intrusive robocalls.
Attorney General Raoul has been a consistent advocate for protections against illegal robocalls. In August 2019, Raoul joined a coalition of attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington D.C. in partnering with 12 phone companies to create a set of principles for telecom companies to fight robocalls. In June 2019, Raoul, in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission, announced a major crackdown on robocalls that included 94 actions targeting operations around the country that were responsible for more than 1 billion calls. As part of that crackdown, Raoul filed a lawsuit against Glamour Services, LLC; Awe Struck, Inc.; and Matthew Glamkowski, the manager of Glamour Services and president of Awe-Struck for allegedly using robocalling and telemarking to solicit home cleaning services. In May 2019, Raoul submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission urging the adoption of its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing.
Consumers who wish to file a consumer complaint concerning robocalls they have received can do so on the Attorney General’s website or by calling the Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-243-0618. Information about how consumers can add their number to the Do Not Call registry is also available on the Attorney General’s website.
Joining Raoul in the brief are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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