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The Senate is working on legislation aimed at improving consumer protections against phone scams and more. Find out how the TRACED Act works and what it can do to protect you from timeshare and other phone scams.
Robocalls and phone scams have been on the rise in recent years. According to Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), nearly half of all calls next year will be robocalls. If you’re a timeshare owner, you may have received calls for fraudulent timeshare resale opportunities. And most of us have gotten so-called spoofed calls. That’s when you get a call with a familiar phone number, but that’s not really who’s calling. But since you sort of recognize the number, you go ahead and pick it up. And when you answer, you’re at risk.
The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act wants to crack down on this. Although telephone fraud such as spoofing is already illegal, it’s currently difficult to prosecute. Currently, the law allows only one year for investigation and prosecution. Under the TRACED Act, the FCC would have 18 months to investigate complaints. And law-breakers could be subject to much higher penalties of up to $10,000.
TRACED also puts more responsibility on service providers to help prevent robocalls and phone scams. The act would require carriers to implement authentication technology by 2020. So when you get a call, you know you can trust the caller ID. Consumer advocates have been asking for providers to crack down on these calls for years, and TRACED will push them in that direction.
Although measures like the Do Not Call Registry have tried to address phone scams, nothing so far has worked. “Since we’re seeing such an escalation of the use of technology to disturb people’s homes, we need an escalation in technology in order to give people protections in their homes and also on their iPhones,” says Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass).
Given the unpopularity of telephone scams and robocalls, the bill has bi-partisan support. TRACED made it through the Senate Communications Committee. We’ll keep you posted on future progress.
If you’re ready to reduce your risk of being the victim of timeshare resale fraud by getting rid of your unwanted timeshare, contact us today for a free no-risk consultation.
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