On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, the Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) initiating the Protecting Consumers from One-Ring Scams proceeding to implement provisions of the TRACED Act that call for additional steps to protect parties from one-ring scams (CG Docket No. 20-93). One-ring scams occur when callers from a foreign country hang up on consumers in the United States after one ring and then receive money after the consumer calls back and incurs significant phone charges. The TRACED Act requires the Commission to initiate a proceeding to protect parties from these calls and details how the Commission should proceed with informing its analysis.

 

The NPRM seeks comment on how the Commission can implement this directive to protect parties from one-ring scams. Specifically, the NPRM seeks comment on how the Commission can work effectively with federal, state, and foreign law enforcement and other government agencies, and on how it can strengthen its efforts to promote consumer education and outreach, coordinate with regulatory partners, and work with providers and call-blocking services. The NPRM proposes to allow voice service providers to block all calls from phone numbers associated with one-ring scams, or purporting to be from such numbers and seeks comment on this proposal and on any additional measures it could take to facilitate blocking of one-ring scam calls. The Commission also seeks comment on how it can work with call blocking services to address these scams, and on how it can establish obligations on international gateway providers as points of entry for these calls. Lastly, the NPRM asks whether the Commission’s recent call blocking actions, especially those related to covid-19, could inform its analysis and if requiring call labeling would be a useful alternative to call blocking.

  • Commissioner’s Rosenworcel and Starks both released separate statements on the NPRM. These can be found, respectively, here and here.
  • Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
  • Reply Comments are due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.

 

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