A joint memorial was introduced Monday asking Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to do something about the scam phone calls that have become more common.
Rep. John Gannon, D-Boise, who is sponsoring the proposal in the House, said these calls "seem to be most of the calls we're getting these days." The memorial describes them as "unwanted and unsolicited phone calls from recordings and persons who do not identify themselves and use false phone numbers to promote warranties, health products, credit cards, computer repair, and many products which they have no intention of providing."
Gannon told the House State Affairs Committee that, while these fraudulent calls are already illegal, many either come from outside of the country or require cybersecurity expertise to investigate that most police departments don’t have, so the federal government would need to do something about them. He said the measure’s main Senate sponsor Don Cheatham, R-Post Falls, has talked to U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher’s office about it and he has expressed interest in the issue.
The memorial calls on the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to "provide the resources necessary and take every reasonable step to procure the necessary expertise to prosecute and end this interference and misuse of our communication system." Gannon said the calls hurt business, by discouraging people from answering the phone, leading to delays in returning calls, and by wasting the time of people who work in sales and have to answer the phone and deal with them.
“I’m not a fan of memorials,” Gannon said. “And this is the first one I’ve worked on in six years. But this is all we can do, and I feel it’s something we must do to provide protection for us, our cities and our commerce.”
The committee voted unanimously to introduce the proposal and send it to the House floor. It has a long list of co-sponsors, including local Sen. Van Burtenshaw, R-Terreton, and Reps. Chris Abernathy and Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello; Randy Armstrong, R-Inkom; Doug Ricks, R-Rexburg; Bryan Zollinger and Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls; Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley; Chad Christensen, R-Ammon; Julianne Young, R-Pingree; and Kevin Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs.
Author: Nathan Brown
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