Tester Pushes FCC to Take Action to Protect Montanans from Cellphone Fraud

Tester and colleagues press the Federal Communications Commission to take action to protect and educate consumers on the issue of cellphone fraud

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester and his colleagues have sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the agency to protect and educate consumers on the issue of cellphone fraud and assist victims in understanding their recourse options. In 2018, there were 680,000 reported victims of cellphone fraud, a 78 percent increase from 2017.

“Consumer protection is a core responsibility of the FCC,” Tester and his colleagues wrote. “While we recognize that consumers can take steps to better protect themselves from this fraud by securing their cellphone account with a pin number through their wireless provider or freezing their credit reports at the National Consumer Telecom and Utilities Exchange, consumers cannot protect themselves from dangers they do not know about and these measures are not foolproof.”

The letter continues: “The FCC offers virtually no information to consumers about how to prevent this type of fraud or information about how to seek recourse if they are targeted. Given the seriousness of this issue and its growing prevalence, we urge the FCC to take action to better educate consumers about cellphone fraud and assist victims in understanding their recourse options.”

Tester has been a champion in the fight to protect Montanans from scams and fraudulent robocalls. He is pushing for passage of the bipartisan Senior Fraud Prevention Act, which will help stop scams that target the elderly by directing the Federal Trade Commission to establish a fraud prevention office, educate seniors about fraud, and maintain reporting systems to help law enforcement find and prosecute scammers. As Montana’s only member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Tester has taken the lead on stopping the scourge of robocalls. He recently helped pass the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which enables regulators to identify, track, and prosecute the worst robocall offenders. He is also working to give regulators the tools they need to crack down on robocalls by introducing the Robocall Enforcement Enhancement Act.

The full text of Tester’s letter can be found HERE.