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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 11, 2015 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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politics, and yet we are we always talk about how it is dead. -- partisan politics and yet we always talk about how it is dead. >> i thought it was very interesting what mr. dickey said in that there is so much more that you talk about if you're at a cocktail party if you are just talking to your radio can and should be that. i'm happy to see that there is so much more that radio is becoming and as the paradigm changes, we are doing a lot better with much more information coming in. we have much more opportunity to talk about so many different things on so many different platforms. i don't think the left-right thing is the future of talk. even though i am on the left. i do so much more than that. any radio show that just does politics, i think it's missing a great opportunity to get a much broader audience. michael: or perhaps the radio is much more than left versus right.
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politics could be a wonderful topic. it's like sports. it used to be x's and o's. julie, you are right in the hearts of all of this. some of your major product are steeped in the controversy of toxic radio, left versus right, boycotts. what is your take? julie: listen to the shows. he have absolutely been diversifying the content. politics is an important issue, but so are the other current events that are happening. i really believe we have taken a much broader approach and we are certainly doing a lot of testing with a lot of other programming. michael: thank you. i have met some of the most fantastic people in this business who are clients of yours.
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i was the owner of a local radio station and i just love the smell of the turntables and the ink in the newsroom. radio stations used to have a smell about them. steve jones is smiling. you remember, don't you? >> it's like that new car smell. >> there is a curiosity about a hunger for and a frustration
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about executing more local programming for all the reasons everybody who has spoken this morning has said and what we will hear undoubtedly this afternoon. i am asked a lot about can we do local programming. i want to answer the who what and where of that. i'm going to make a couple of people blush. harry hurley in atlantic city is the morning mayor. if you can find somebody who knows a market and has the ultimate rolodex, that is gold. where do you find him since consolidation and syndication clobbered everything? a used to be a fighter's market -- buyer's market. now if the seller #it.
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if you can't -- seller's market. wrko has a couple shows on the air whose business model ought to be instructed to you. these stations are heard on wrko and about a dozen more stations around new england. i thought that the unplowed ground in syndication is bigger than local, smaller than national. are you potentially a statewide footprint? new england as a footprint is about the size of california. can your show go wide enough where everybody has the same accent and embraces the same interests? i think that's the opportunity. i work with some of the state networks and the problem is they are giving stations stuff they don't really want and asking more of the stations and the stations are willing to give. they ought to start doing shows
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about the state. the other thing that station owners are concerned about regardless of market size is digital. from it is pressure from the whole -- from the home office for digital revenue. i will speak about this in the iowa broadcasters meeting. what the heck is digital? if you try to call any of your friends this weekend, you are going to get voicemail because today they just dumped "orange is the new black" season three. this is how people choose to consume. if we do programming that is into the microphone and gone, we are leaving money on the table. we have to get better about using that thing in the pocket we used to call a phone as the dvr of radio. michael: how are things at cbs? >> well, i have been here all morning but last time i checked it was good.
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do you know something i don't know? [laughter] things are good. we do invest a lot in life and local programming. if you wear but mike's station on today, it's 24/7. 880 in this town is still that way. that model is not gone. is it more expensive? yes. is it difficult to find the talent to staff it 24 hours a day? yes. is the payoff bigger teco yes. -- bigger? yes. michael: another question for you. personally, is the stick still a good investment?
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is there going to be an and fm radio in 10 years? >> the stick is a business equation. if you're going to talk to heritage broadcasters who bought that stick decades ago, that's a very complicated conversation to say if its still worth it. will it still be around in? yes. if you go to detroit and you speak to the automotive industry, the makers of cars, they have no plan to get rid of the a.m. fm radio experience in the car. will they add to it? of course. that's not in the expense of taking away am and fm. i don't know why you wouldn't believe the people who are making cars. michael: karen, you are on satellite radio.
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she is also a publisher and a pulitzer prize winning writer. an absolutely brilliant woman. you have been with sirius now. what is your view of satellite radio data we haven't had much conversation about it day yet. i absolutely love it. while i agree am and fm aren't going anywhere, satellite has provided the opportunity to bring different people into the mix because most of us have satellite radio automatically in our cars whether we are renting or leasing or buying. from my standpoint, before i was just here in new york doing a morning show and now i am reaching people calling from the bahamas and canada. i don't even know if that's legal.
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i am talking to people literally across the country. it's breathtaking every day to come in and know that your voice is reaching that far. michael: you are on a channel that is basically designated as urban, african-american. i would imagine -- i wonder about this. is it difficult to find the boundaries in terms of general conversation of where being an african-american begins and ends and when it becomes general of them -- generalism? >> i somehow knew i was going to get the black question. [laughter] it's interesting because i am doing a live show on mondays. they repeat the live show on insight.
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i don't change anything. i published kris jenner's book. every day i wake up and i say that at some point these 15 minutes are going to be up and they just don't seem to be. people are fascinated by people. i can be interesting everything all day by just being myself and it doesn't matter what my race is and quite frankly, being on urban view is funny. yesterday we had a collar -- caller that said you should make sure this goes out to the urban community. my call screener is like, you do know this is urban view, right? it's interesting to me that i don't necessarily draw those boundaries in mind. i think we have a very diverse audience. i do hang up on a lot of people. [laughter]
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michael: julie, i am going to ask you the woman question. since you are the reigning woman of the year. people ask me all the time, how come there aren't more women on the heavy hundred? my answer is because there aren't any. it is what it is. there is no answer. what is your answer? >> i have had a lot of conversations with women in the industry. i think the most important thing is that people ask the question how do i become that big success? i think the response i gave today was, who has defined success? if you have a great show and you are making money and there are options for distribution, whether it's -- there is a different definition of success.
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be in charge of your own life. if there are limited women on air right now, look at it a different way. we can do this. michael: joe, you are in the newspaper business. you are a reporter, editor, you have ink in your blood. >> you're saying i'm a dinosaur. michael: not at all. you are part of the future. you work at a daily news deeper that has innovation -- you work at a daily newspaper that has innovation in it inc.. -- its ink. share what you have learned. >> the radio has been a shot of adrenaline to our news organization which has been traditionally a newspaper.
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we obviously have a website. it has expanded our reach. we are seeing some of the very best of radio, the immediacy of radio, when breaking news happened, real-time. that's really so valuable to us in terms of reporting things now. newsmakers, public figures, the governor, the mayor, athletes, celebrities, they might be reluctant to call a print reporter and do an interview and then have that person put on a filter. but now, they can come on harold radio and they can be heard in full context. -- herald radio it is not a radio station in isolation. it is integrated fully with everything we do in our newsroom. we break news on the radio, and
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then we break it simultaneously on the web. there is video embedded and sound embedded on the web. it's sent out on social media. the next day, we follow up by advancing a story in the newspaper. today, on the front page, we have a rand paul interview saying he doesn't go after his wife the way you went -- saying don't go after my wife the way you went after marco rubio's. we do a lot of shooting in the studio. as a news coverage, news breaking vehicle and of the way to expand our audience, it has been incredible. michael: are the powers that be there happy you did it? >> absolutely. we are getting great recognition nationally. we were just named as a finalist for innovator of the year. i remember when you first came
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into our studio and we walk you through. michael has been an incredible help. we need radio advice. radio is very difficult to learn and you need experience doing it. it's a difficult thing to navigate. michael has been helpful there. he came to the studio and our studio is not millions of dollars. it's a renovated conference room with for mike's set up -- four mic's set up. it has technically been very basic. we have -- we do remotes. we have a bureau in city hall and broadcast live from there. very low investment, but we are seeing advertising and cross-selling as well as radio specific by inns. -- buy-ins.
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michael: this is a clear-cut example of the future and potential of audio media mix in a multiplatform setting. i applaud you for that. alan, you are a friend of mine for years so i know you personally. don't try to be funny. [laughter] alan is a very funny guy. people always say to me they get very angry at him because he is a disaster. >> did you just call me up after -- call me a bastard? michael: you are doing some really good experimental work in formats that are way beyond what anybody who knows you would know.
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i would like to have you talk about it. >> that's a great question. i wish i had thought about it before i came here. so we are speak so much to what kind of show we do and who are we on the air. certainly people who know my work with a he is a liberal. anti-american, hates the country. who are we as a great question to ask yourself and think about in terms of what part of yourself do you want to bring to the show you are doing. people who know me often will see me with bill o'reilly. six minute segments where you become a cartoon as michael saying earlier. you have a few minutes to get little soundbites out. on our show, it's very collar interactive so that it becomes
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more than just left versus right. it's who am i? who is my audience? we have regular callers. when they first moved me, i didn't have a big audience at first because they changed my timeslot to a much better timeslot. i would get maybe to callers an hour. those colors became people of the show and characters on the show and we made the people who call the show -- one theory would be, with the same voice as it gets boring. these people, we talked about their lives, personal issues, health concerns. this is less about who i am. it's leading me to who you are being a lot about what you bring to the table.
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it's not just about who i am, it's who the callers are. i do a show on about one of my other interests which has nothing to do with left-right politics. it's about human cautiousness, cosmology. we talk to people in self-improvement, the human potential movement, meditation, is not left-right or politics at all. this is really one of my passions because when i am not doing radio, i am not reading political books, i am reading deepak chopra. that's what really interests me. i have a venue now to bring that to the radio. i sometimes combine it with what i am doing on fox news radio. i think that the question you asked is who are we and what part of that can we bring to our audience.
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i think that is a very important question we should each ask ourselves because what part of ourselves do we want to reveal during the few hours a day we are on the air? michael: or what part of ourselves do we want to reveal two different audiences and channels. craig, i haven't forgotten that you're here. >> me neither. michael: what is it like being the program director of wabc with this immense history behind you. >> thanks for having me. it has been a great group here. every year, i think i learn a lot and that everybody take
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something away from this conference. wabc versus wpro in providence, i done think the challenges are that much different. the audience is bigger. the spots sell for more. the talent are at a different level in the sense of they have to perform in a larger stage. the talent in providence were very talented. the talent in new york are very talented. that doesn't change. you still have the concerns over marketing, you still want to sign the talent to the right agreement. you still want the talent to be productive and do them -- and have them do the best show they possibly can. those battles aren't different providence to new york. or des moines to new york or
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whatever. you still have a transmitter that goes down in the middle of the night in des moines, you have that in new york. you still have failed concerns and sales managers to work with and be productive with and try to find your spot and find the things that are going to matter. those conversations are the same in the hallways of providence as they are in new york. i think the difference for me is just that there is a different pulse in new york city. there is a different expectation in new york. both of those stations are heritage brands. like mr. dickey said earlier, you want to be the civilian of them. i take the heritages very seriously. it's what a lot of us listen to. we listened to 77 growing up and yankees game or cousin thursday -- brucie. i grew up in the midwest. those big sticks meant a lot to me.
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this big stick means a lot to me. i take it it's really seriously. i take our talent seriously. i take our approach to promotions and marketing seriously. that's what it has to be. that's what it has to be for all of us. it's exciting time. in something i hold very dear and its something that i'm very faithful to be a part of. michael: you bring up something very interesting. i have programmed in the biggest markets and i have also programmed in some small ones. i have found that the biggest mistake a major market radio person can do is to think just because they're in a big market that somehow they know more or they are better than the people running small stations. or somehow, small-market have small people. all markets have big people with
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big he goes and lots of power and clicks. it's hard to program radio in a small town. there are amazing obstacles when you come in with your big-city ways and you think you have all the answers. chris, we will let you wrap up the big picture. as i have followed you over the years, here you are in 2015. you have been around the track a lot and you are not the same young fellow i knew 15 or 20 years ago. what's your assessment of the big picture? what do we as radio broadcasters need to be concerned with going forward? >> i think what we have to be concerned now moving forward is not making the excuses that we have sort of made a habit of in the past. the point i have always made about things is that there have been radio stations in ppm that have been number one long before volterra.
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sometimes, we tried to pick on one thing and make it all about that one thing and we lose sight of the big picture. that's not good for any industry. the thing i'm most passionate about, i actually think nielsen will get it right and i actually think average quarter our rating points, not share, for broadcast radio will increase. that will be great for business. michael: everyone, thank you so much. let's have lunch. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> a look at our primetime schedule on the c-span that works. starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern, a aspension from the annual security forum on the dangers of crisis and how the terrorist
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group is currently using the internet as a recruitment tool. and books onuthors immigration issues. an american history tv with a ,ook at congressional history' including women in congress. tomorrow morning, michael warren of "the weekly standard" talks about donald trump and his view on policy issues, following last week's debate. then a look at millennial voters and what is important to them, including student loan debt and health care. after that, politico contributor mark perry examines his recent article on infighting at the pentagon and what is the best way to combat china. us, of course, your phone calls, .acebook comments, and tweets the agingake you to committee and a recent hearing they held on senior telephone
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scams. you will hear from one of those victims and an expert who says criminals are frequently outsmarting the technology. we will take your calls and comments on phone scams. >> when congress passed legislation creating the national do not call registry in 2003, we ought -- we thought we had put an end to the plague of unwelcome telemarketers who were interrupting americans morning, nearlynd night, but now 12 years later, phones are once again ringing off the hook. in this hearing, we will look at why americans who have signed up arethe do not call registry still getting unwanted phone calls and what can be done to .top it
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we will see that a large part of the problem traces to the fact that the regulatory framework behind the do not call list has byn rendered ineffective advances in technology. it used to be that phone calls were routed through equipment that was costly and complicated to operate. high-volume calling was ,ifficult and expensive especially for international calls. could not bepment used easily to disguise or spoof a caller id, but now, phone calls can be routed from anywhere in the world of .ractically no cost this can be done by using so-called voiceover internet protocol technology for voip.
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the computer programs needed to generate these calls are remarkably inexpensive and easy to use. telemarketers scrub their calling list against a database to make sure they do not dial numbers belonging to consumers who have signed up for .he do not call list if you are on that list, there's a good chance that the telemarketer who is calling you .s not legitimate instead, it could well be a scam artist using a computer program .o to generate robo calls these typically originate offshore, often from call centers in india, but you would not know that fact from looking
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at your caller id because the scammers spoof their caller id to add credibility and hide their true location. as we learned in a recent hearing on the irs scam, fraudsters can even spoof their numbers to make victims believe that they are calling from the irs or local law enforcement. --n these unsuspected unsuspecting victims see the internal revenue service or their local police department pop up on their caller id screen , they are worried, scared, and often easily hustled into doing whatever the scammers demand simply put, spoofing is very .asy, as i will now demonstrate
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my screen is reading internal .evenue service, but let's see hello, this is susan collins. may i ask who is calling? >> hello, chairman collins. this is sam dewey from your staff. senator collins: my phone says you are calling from the irs headquarters number, which is 5000.22- are you calling from the irs? sam: no, senator. i'm actually over here. [laughter] : there you have it. thank you, sam. here is what the number would look like on a standard landline phone where you have the screen up.e your caller id shows the irs, of course, is part of the department of treasury.
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my staff was able to spoof that a free iphone app right here in this hearing room, and looking at my phone, i would that itway of knowing was not really the irs or the department of treasury calling me. obviously, these fraudsters have no intention of following u.s. law. in fact, they may use the do not call list as the source of working numbers in their hunt for new victims. if we are going to win the fight against scammers targeting our seniors, we need to get ahead of the technology that they used to generate robo calls and to spoof caller id. let's see who this one is.
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hello, this is susan collins. sam: hello, senator collins. it's sam dewey from your staff again. this isins: sam, getting old. this time, sam is pretending to be from the department of justice, and he has just demonstrated how easy it is to numbers --ple phone not just the irs, the department of justice and virtually any ,ther official sounding number and he has also demonstrated just how annoying these repeated calls can be to the consumer. so, sam, i'm turning off my ringer now. this is a serious problem. it would be one thing if the real number were showing up on
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the hardline id screen. then callers might have some chance of detecting themselves -- protecting themselves by simply not answering the phone, we haved that -- as advised in many of our hearings, but when you see the irs or the local police department's number upthe f dei's number showing on your screen, you are going to .nswer that call i wish that senator mccaskill were here right now. she will be coming -- ms. mccaskill: i'm here. ms. collins: you managed to miss my very exciting opening statement, which had two spoof calls during it. .s. mccaskill: oh, darn ms. collins: but you are here for the praise part of the
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hearing. i do want to salute you for the work you've done on the commerce forittee on this issue, and the legislation that you have drafted, which i'm very pleased .o join you in cosponsoring before we turn to our witnesses whose testimony i'm very much looking forward to, i now would like to call on our ranking member to deliver her statement. ms. mccaskill: most sincere apologies. you know, this place is -- all my colleagues will attest to the all that all blessed -- best plans get blown up by crises of schedule. i apologize for being a few minutes late and for missing your opening statement. thank you so much for holding this hearing. this is a topic i am very concerned about. frankly, i think anybody who -- and i know the witnesses here from the attorney general's office can speak to this -- if there's one topic that comes up
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missourians when i'm talking to them, it really is -- "can't you do anything about the robo calls? i'm on the do not call list. why can't you get them to stop?" i watch my mother get victimized when she thought she was being called by medicare and it was really a company called medcare, and it was really a company that was robo calling her and lying to herf they had talked doctor. in our subcommittee hearing in the commerce committee, we heard about the inability of enforcement agencies to keep up with this game of what the mold, that phone scams have become pleas for help that the providers help them by offering technologies that will block unwanted and fraudulent calls. i has been tough on the phone companies, not because they are causing the problem but rather because they are in the best position to do something about .t
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some innovators has made great strides in developing call blocking technologies. however, to my frustration, industry representatives have continued to insist that the law does not allow them to do this. that does not work. the only one seeking clarity here. missouri's attorney general, a democrat along with indiana's republican attorney general, ,pearheaded a letter to the ftc and 37 other attorneys general signed on. they wanted a formal opinion that clarified of what we were hearing from industry was true, that their hands were tied about their ability to provide call blocking technology based on consumer choice. i'm pleased today that we are joined by missouri's deputy attorney general, a former judge, to explain why giving consumers more power and choice in which calls they receive is
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such an important concern for law enforcement nationwide. i'm also pleased that the ftc commissioner wheeler has heard please coming from capitol hill and across the country and recently announced a proposal to be considered at the commission later this month that would allow telecommunications providers to offer consumers technology tools to combat unwanted calls. this proposal will be voted on and i'm strongly encouraging the sec to adopt chairman wheeler's proposal. i'm grateful that the sec has used its existing authority to modernize its rules, but i also recognize that in some cases, statutory changes must be made to keep up with a rapidly evolving technology. to that end, this week, i have introduced and am very pleased to have cosponsorship with the chairman of this committee, chairman collins. we introduced together the robo call and call spoofing enforcement improvement act, which would give the sec more enforcement authority, allowing robo go after nonlicensed
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call violators and increasing penalties on them. one of the other concerns we've heard from our law enforcement agencies is there an ability to get that spammers who spoof calls from overseas. this bill would allow for the sec to enforce our spoofing laws against overseas callers, who direct their activities to those living in the united states. additionally, the bill would grant the fcc explicit authority to regulate heard party spoofing services. we have to stay on top of this issue because spammers, speakers, and robo callers will continue to use whatever tools are available to them to defraud american consumers and american seniors. we must give them the flexibility to fight these fraudsters. the complaints are only increasing. in the last five years alone, the ftc reports monthly complaints about illegal robo calls have doubled. in missouri, as we will hear ,rom attorney general dandurand the top complaint of residence is unwanted and a legal telemarketing cloth -- calls.
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it's not even close. his office gets 50 times the number of complaints for those calls than it did for the next highest category of complaints. we can do this. together, we can do this. i look forward to hearing the testimony from this panel and exploring more ways to help consumers fight these unwanted calls. thank you, and i look forward to all of your testimony. ms. collins: thank you very much for your statement. i would note that we have enjoined by senator heller, senator casey, and senator kaine , and i know others of our us, their will join schedules permit. we now turn to our panel of witnesses. first, we will hear from linda designer andting photographer from dallas, texas. she will tell us about the constant barrage of unwanted telemarketing calls she has received despite registering with the do not call list.
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second, we will hear from professor henning schulzrinne from columbia university in new york. the professor will explain the technology and described the work and that he is doing with the industry standard setting groups. third, we will hear from ms. lois greisman, the associate director of the division of in theng practices bureau of consumer protection at the federal trade commission. finally, we will hear from joe dandurand, the deputy attorney general in missouri. i want to thank all of you for joining us, and we will start with you, ms. blase. theblase: members of committee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak for thousands of american citizens who constantly receive unwanted telephone solicitations.
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as a small-business owner working out of my home, my phone number has also found its way to telemarketers who target is this -- business. i know there are more critical issues to address in today's world, but few affect as many of a daily basis as the barrage of robo calls that constantly interrupt our lives. in addition to scammers posing as the irs and fbi trying to steal my savings, i've been bombarded by unwanted and irrelevant sales calls. i've had telemarketers tell me that my credit card processor is not in compliance with government regulations and their company needs to come upgrade it immediately, as if i ever had a credit card processor. .ne tried to sell me an atm maybe i could put it in my living room. several had important information about my credit card account, adding that there's no problem right now, but this is my last chance for them to lower my interest rate.
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if only that were true. i've been getting these calls for years. then there's the man who starts ," andth, "hello, seniors then tries to sell me a device that calls for help if i fall. by the way, someone has already about aset it up for me dozen times. these are just a few examples of the calls we are all getting every day. when the do not call list was established, i immediately registered my phone number, but it's in became clear that it made no difference to these people. all they had to do was change a number or spoof one to hide their identities and evade prosecution, and that's assuming anyone was even willing to invest the time and energy required to do so. with the proliferation of robo calls, it got even worse. if you actually speak to a human being and ask where the company got your phone number, if they don't hang up immediately, they idea.ell you i have no
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they just get on the line after the computer has dialed your number and you answer the phone. since toll-free numbers apparently are not public record, telemarketers can hide their identities that way. --eminded of the board --g mantra on "star trek" resistance is futile. answer these calls or request to be taken off their list, you have effectively told the computer that it has reached a working number. will answers you calls from numbers you don't recognize, so not only will it continue to call you, your number may go on a list of targeted numbers which can be to aand resold many times multitude of telemarketers, robo
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callers, and scammers. you can do a quick pickup and hang up without saying a word, you cannot answer, giving the call a chance to go to voicemail where you have this in the time to retrieve and delete the calls, you can report the to the fcc using a detailed and time-consuming online form, which i have done several times, or you can go to a consumer driven website that collects complaints from others who are also tearing their hair out over these calls. all an exercise in futility. in searcof a solution to the problem, i agreed to participate in a consumer's union campaign against unwanted robo calls. i found that while call blockers can be useful straight out of the box, their effectiveness is limited and to be fully functional may require ,dditional and sometimes located planning.
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as far as i'm concerned, these calls are unwanted intrusions praymy home, and spammers disproportionately on our elderly citizens. why should telemarketers be exempt from regulations similar to the common requirement for door-to-door salesperson's to skip homes with the no solicitor signposted near the door? we need a similar mechanism for these unwanted own. the national do not call registry was supposed to do this, but the technology has made enforcement nearly impossible. telemarketing companies have the ability to do more in this area and should do so. we are paying enough for their services. it's time for us to take a good
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and work to issue stop or sharply decreased the number of these unwanted calls. thank you for your time. ms. collins: thank you very much for your testimony. when we get to questions, i'm going to ask you about the robo you kept for a month. i think it's very illuminating, the dozens of calls that you received and the variety of them . professor, we look forward to hearing from you next. : thank youchulzrinne for the opportunity to appear before you today. i am the professor of computer science and electrical engineering at columbia university in new york. i was the chief technologist at the fcc from 2012 through 2014 and currently serve as a technology advisor to the fcc. i am pleased to join you to
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discuss technological issues and potential solutions surrounding robo calls and number spoofing. illegal and more general unwanted robo calls come in many flavors. we heard a few described in great detail already. all are annoying. some are harassing, threatening, or deceptive. techd well-known irs and support scams, similar technology also facilitates swatting, that is false 911 calls claiming a crime in progress, or telephony denial of service attacks that interfere with the operation of nursing homes, hospitals, and other institutions. all of these, as distinct as they may seem, leverage the same enablers -- cheap anonymous
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international phone calls, easy spoofing of a telephone number, if it looks like a real number, like the irs, or a law enforcement agency, or even completely nonexisting numbers used simply to up to escape, and fake or misleading caller name information. fortunately, while new technologies have enabled the scourge of unwanted calls, emerging technologies can also help reduce and i hope eventually eliminate these calls. in my written testimony, i described eight tools that are being developed. they are, however, reliant on three key concepts i will outline now. first, we need to make caller id information trustworthy again. secondly, we need to provide traceable and reliable caller name information, and third, we need to elect consumers and decide which calls
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they receive in which we do not. as different as they seem attack unwanted calls for making it harder and more expensive for fraudulent callers to reach their marks and make it easier for enforcement to locate and shut down these operations. let me start on the first topic. first, to ensure that only entities authorized to use telephone numbers can place calls using that number. the working group within the engineering task force is finishing up a set of specifications that allow legitimate originators of calls to cryptographically signed call setup messages. helping that working group as well. the technology is very similar towhat is currently used sign websites used by banks or
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other financial institutions. these techniques can be implemented as calls -- as voice over ip calls reach traditional networks and can protect legacy networks even though we may not be able to upgrade as technologies themselves. thus, they are able to protect both landline and mobile caller ids from fake information. however, i believe that even before we can implement cryptographic validation on a large-scale, we can prevent the spoofing of numbers used by the kind of institutions mentioned by governor's office and social service agencies. i have called this the do not originate list, as a rough equivalent to the do not call list. organizations who are likely to be impersonated by fraudsters would provide their numbers to operators, letting them know that no legitimate call would use those numbers.
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gateway operators can remove or translate the bogus caller id information. we would no longer have to rely on a base would string derived from a third-party database, which can indeed be substituted looking name. a new working group within the same standardization organization has been proposed to modernize delivery of caller name information. thirdly, and importantly, consumers and businesses need to decide which calls to receive. they may even want a blacklist or white list. a blacklist designates numbers to be blocked, be directed to voicemail, or subject to a "are you human" test. derived, forhe
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example, through crowdsourcing. a white list allows only certain numbers to reach, say, vulnerable individuals, while other calls either blocked or forwarded to family members or other trusted third parties. in portly, such blacklist and white lists can be implement it either by telephone providers if thoses, or providers cooperate, by making it possible by consumer-shows third parties to that phone phone calls,vet and third parties can compete on who does the best job of filtering unwanted calls. this does, however, require that phone companies provide suitable interfaces to do that. i appreciate your interest in this topic, and i look forward to your questions on the technology. thank you. ms. collins: thank you very much, professor. i very much appreciate your
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testimony. ms. greisman: thank you very much. good afternoon, members of the committee. i'm very pleased to be sitting next to professor schulzrinne, who has been a vital partner at the ftc -- excuse me, the fcc, with us. tackling robo calls and curbing unwanted telemarketing, particularly calls that target seniors, is a top priority for the ftc. 11 years ago, the commission established the do not call registry to create an easy to use tool for consumers to protect their privacy against unwanted calls. i do believe that program has been highly effective in reducing calls from legitimate telemarketers, but several years started tondscape shift in a very troubling way. robo calls are on the rise. in 2009, the ftc received just a little more than 60,000 complaints about robo calls each month.
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so what happened? major technological changes in telecommunication services have led to lower cost and improve services for consumers. that's good news. unfortunately, fraudsters also have taken advantage of these same lower costs, which brought faster and cheaper automated dialing platforms. fraudsters, as we've heard already, have also further exploited caller id spoofing, which induces the consumer to pick up the phone while enabling the scammer to hide anywhere in the world, hide its identity and location. in short, bad actors had taken advantage of this relatively cheap and scalable business model and used it to last literally tens of millions of illegal robo calls over the course of one day at a cost of less than one cent per call. it's bad enough that these robo calls invade consumers' privacy and are illegal. illegal privacy
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invasion, we too often see that rover callers pitch goods and services riddled with fraud. the ftc continues to step up its law enforcement initiative. for example, which shut down a major robo call operation that picked off seniors by telling them they were eligible to receive a free medical alert bought for them by a family member or friend. senior members who pressed one on the phone were transferred to a live operator who said the medical alerts to vice was approved by the american heart association or the american diabetes association. that's exactly the type of robo call that ms. blase referred to earlier, and i know the state of florida was a plaintiff in that case. the ftc sued the telemarketer, the lead generator that provided the names, the telephone numbers , and also the companies that help the telemarketers spoofed
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its caller id to hide its identity. these entities were responsible for blasting billions of robo .alls i believe our coordination with state, federal, international partners, as you know, while the ftc has no criminal authority, i'm happy to report that some of the individuals sued by the ftc for placing illegal robo calls have been prosecuted criminally by the department of justice. though, we know law enforcement is not enough. we've committed to stimulating technological solutions by issuing no less than four challenges, challenging entrepreneurs to develop solutions such as robo call blocking services that will subregional for card holding services before she can invade our privacy and spew her lies. or fourth contest takes place in august entitled robo calls, humanity strikes back.
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we think these contests have been very successful, as attested to by the fact that one of our winners of the very first contest brought his product to the marketplace just six months after winning. thanre robo now has more 170,000 survivors and reports to have blocked 24 million calls. with these challenges and is detailed in the testimony, the ftc plays a leadership role to stimulate ongoing robust experts,with technical academics, and industry groups, and i do want to underscore that our work is international in scope. as a meeting in ireland as we speak to tackle the consumer protection issues robo calls present. finally, i want to assure you of our ongoing and sustained commitment to protect consumer privacy and halt telemarketing fraud by enforcing the do not call registry and by tackling
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illegal robo calls. i look forward to your questions. thank you. ms. collins: thank you for your testimony. mr. dandurand: i take this opportunity to thank chairman senator collins and my friend and ranking committee member senator claire mccaskill and the committee for inviting us your peer going last, apologize ahead of time for being a bit redundant. general's office has a division dedicated entirely to responding to complaints from missouri consumers. the consumer protection division receives complaints about a wide variety of scams and fraud such as illegal debt collecting practices and identity theft, however, the number one complaint by missourians, as senator mccaskill indicated, by a significant margin, is about d illegal telemarketing calls. in 2014, the vast majority of complaints received of the well
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over 52,000 we received, were about illegal telemarketing. number of highest complaints was just under 1200. to putians are able residential and cell phone numbers on the no call list. every day, our no call unit from those who have been harassed. at last month, our office received a complaint from an in st. louisoman who received a call from someone telling her she was eligible for a back brace from medicare. the caller was able to get her medicare id, which is her social security number, and her date of birth. after hanging up, the woman realized something was not right, and she called our office. robo calls specifically target
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seniors. one making the round tells seniors they are eligible for a free medical alert bracelet if they will provide identifying information. while some technologies as such as caller id help address unwanted calls, even then, exploited.may be spoofing happens when the caller deliberately falsifies the the id ofto disguise the caller. one of the most frequent complaints our office receives from seniors is that they caller "ssi."ys the letters they are receiving a call from the social security
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administration. instead, they are given a survey that solicits information. our office also obtained court telemarketersting from placing another call into the state of missouri, but they are clever and relentless. as senator mccaskill told us a moment ago, it often becomes as frustrating as the old arcade game whack a mole. have resorted to setting up shop from overseas locations, nullifying our ability to obtain enforcement or jurisdiction over them. we need the help of private industry, including telephone providers, to create solutions to permanently stop
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unwanted telemarketing calls. already, technologies exist to reduce the number of robo calls to consumers phones. these call blockers filter incoming telemarketing calls before they reach the consumer's phones, dust or medically reducing the number of unwanted calls a person receives. yet, the major phone carriers have resisted allowing their customers to have access to these call blocking technologies, claiming that federal law prohibits it. to quote from a u.s. telecom representative at a july 10, 2013 senate subcommittee consumer protection hearing, "the current a legal framework simply does not allow phone companies to decide for the consumer which calls should be allowed to go through and which should be blocked." if so, then that should be changed. if that is the only thing stopping them, then by all means, we should clarify the law
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and give them such power. that is why last fall, missouri attorney general chris coaster and indiana attorney general greg soler joined by 37 other tend and general submitted a letter to the federal communications commission urging the commission to allow phone companies to utilize call blocking technologies that would better protect consumers from unwanted calls and scams. we are thankful and encouraged by the fact that the fcc chairman agrees. in response to the letter, chairman wheeler submitted a proposal to protect americans from unwanted robo calls. robo calls, spam text messages, and telemarketing calls. it looks like the fcc will provide clarity on the issue based on chairman wheeler's request. the proposal will be voted on.
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our office is encouraged by the progress we have made, but we recognize the canoeing -- continuing challenges that need to be addressed. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. sen. collins: thank you as well. a very precise log of the calls he received. you said in many cases, you would get repeat calls. you would hang up and the person would call back again. i am curious whether you felt when you did answer some of these calls that the individuals had information about you that made the call more convincing and might be
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more persuasive to an individual is less sophisticated then you are in dealing with these -- than you are in dealing with these calls. the only time i felt they had information about me specifically was the business calls. they assumed i take credit cards , have an atm, or would want to buy one for my business. i can only assume it came from the sales and use tax permit i have to have in order to run my business, or from a directory, a business directory that is put out. in fact, i have had a lot of trouble with the business directory sending me things every year saying if you don't return this information confirming who you are, what you do, what you sell, we will have
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to drop you from the list. i say, great, drop it, but every year i get the same one and they describe my business as something it is nothing like. i suspect they are getting my number from that business list, and i suspected they got that from the state. but i don't know. sen. collins: since not everyone has seen the call log you put together over a month's time, could you describe in a little bit of detail the number of calls you received and the type of calls? it is a long list. it is something like 74 calls. since i sent it to you, the same caller that called five times in one day when i did not answer has called me back another couple of times. sen. collins: and this was just in one month's time. yes, ma'am.
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i started keeping this log on the fifth of may. sen. collins: and you are, i assume, registered on the do not call list. ms. blase: yes. morecollins: so you got than 70 calls in a month despite being on the list, which says something about the efficacy of the list. professor, i understand some commercial carriers are hesitant to offer robo call filters because of a concern that they cannot legally block a call under their common carrier obligations. as has been discussed today, the has released a proposal intended to clarify this issue. i gather there is a dispute over this issue, and made clear that robo call filters are legal. the fccvent that accepts the chairman's proposal, robo call filters
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available now for consumers that could be put in place immediately by commercial carriers and telephone companies to help protect consumers? of the typesinne: of solutions that could be aployed immediately or within matter of months, short of a year, one, which was already mentioned, third-party services on aessentially rely specific feature called simultaneous ringing that some phone systems provide. morobo solution. it allows the consumer to filter calls. that solution is only applicable to more modern phone systems, typically provided by cable companies, voice ip companies, or some fiber-based phone
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services. the second one, which i see as particularly promising, is that providempanies would interfaces which would allow third parties to decide on the consumer's hat -- consumers behalf and chosen by the consumer which calls to block, redirect, or direct to a third party. the third type of solution i mentioned would be apps that you on your smart phone. butently, these apps exist, they are not well integrated into the existing phone devices. they don't work all that well. so, with the cooperation of , these type of apps
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could work much better than they do today. type is the wholesale prevention of number spoofing. that would make the job of enforcement much easier because it would be much more difficult for a legal telemarketers who spoof nonexisting numbers, which it legal-- for telemarketers who spoof nonexisting numbers, which is -- who spooflemarketers, nonexisting numbers, which is quite common today. professor, is there any law we need for the encryption of asure the validity caller id? done now? be
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adding cyberinne: security to technology does not generally require additional legal authorization, just like banks did not need to ask permission of the fdic to add pretension -- add protection to the bank websites. what obligations do various participants have to protect that information is a discussion. follow-upkill: i will with the fcc and make sure, but i am hoping that along with the clarification, that there is no barrier to the common carriers to help consumers block this call, that they would also do what they can to encourage this encryption possibility. i think it is a twofold problem.
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one is making sure the caller id is who it says it is, and two, being able to block a call. general, i know your office has done great work band 28area and telemarketers. as you know, i am an old prosecutor. are we going to have to start putting people in jail? i mean, the people that are doing this, the reason it is whack a mole is because they don't fear any authority at this point. .hey are fearless if we began picking off -- and i know. is it likely we are going to get the u.s. attorney's office in on this? i am painfully aware of the limitations of your office in terms of criminal prosecution, but are there laws in misery that you think currently would issouri that would give
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you criminal prosecution? i guess -- consumerrand: protection laws are there. but you have to prove intent to scam, which makes it more difficult. those are available, but right now it is difficult. the feds have been helpful in that regard. their arm all thai state criminally prosecute folks. multistate efforts to criminally prosecute folks. doj is in on that. but it's very hard to come by that authority. and i am notl: even saying i am for that, but we might want to look at what state statutes can be utilized and what communication you have with local prosecutors to help bringing these
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cases. i do think the more people are prosecuted, the more quickly you will clean some of this up. me ask you this. does it work when you ban these 28 telemarketers? do they stay out? prof. schulzrinne: we have not caught -- joe dandurand: we have not caught the same named entity twice, but we believe they go state to state until they get barred in another state and then continue to do this. mole theory is truly, truly difficult to get a grip on. sen. mccaskill: what about cooperation from the carriers? i don't get this, candidly. i think right now if any carrier and its company came out with an ad campaign -- forget about cut your bill in half, can you hear
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me, look at my network and how good it is -- if they came out with an ad, we are going to block robo calls, i mean, i don't think they could handle the business they would get. and i don't get why they are dragging their feet and why it is going to take the fcc clarifying that this is not a problem. do you believe, if the fcc votes the way we hope they are going to vote tomorrow, that we will see a land rush of carriers coming to the forefront saying we will offer this service to our customers? prime is in canada offers it to their customers at no charge. cautiouslyan: i am optimistic, but i wouldn't hold my breath. for years, we have been urging carriers to do this. as you have said, there is no legal impediment to providing providers are and
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desperately asking for it. they do participate in the working groups we are referring to. again, i would like to be optimistic. ,en. mccaskill: usually american companies are so smart about marketing. i don't get why all of their marketers are so dumb on this. it's amazing to me. prof. schulzrinne: one reason is because it is often sold as a bundle as opposed to a standalone service. sen. mccaskill: i don't think they realize, we have choices on bundles. i have two or three places i can go for a bundle. i would much rather go for a bundle that will block robocalls, i guarantee that. and i bet a vast majority of americans agree with me. sen. collins: senator heller. senator: i have just gotten a copy of the bill i think you are
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going to be putting forward. i think there is some good thinking in there and i look forward to speaking with you about it. the line ofntinue questioning about the reason why some of the common carriers would not be motivated to do it. it would seem to me that it is a product differentiation. it raises the question, is there some economic value to these calls going through? do any of you care to speak to that? prof. schulzrinne: the economic between the amount is diminished. are not the ones
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complaining about the ability to do blocking. the large carriers could do it. i have a hard time believing it is simply lost revenue. i have heard informally from engineers is that often the voice technology being deployed is not seen as a revenue producing opportunity. it's a must offer technology. we have to offer voice just like the cable company offers e-mail service. they seem reluctant in some cases to invest resources improving the technology they have. i wanted to ask you some questions about the technology. it's easy to see the simultaneous ring. i know how that works. could be usedis
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with that underlying technology or even cellular technology, but there is still this area are out there -- area out there with the old technology. some of the more vulnerable areas are going to be ,ole -- rural disproportionately more aged who stills, folks have traditional exchanges. what sort of technology options are there for those sorts of asidences that are still in sector to generations behind telephony than younger people or people in urban areas? prof. schulzrinne: most of the illegal and unwanted robo calls, almost all of them, originated ip.oice over
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senator: they can originate there but ultimately end up in a private exchange, it's what i was referring to. prof. schulzrinne: there is always a gateway between those two worlds, the legacy world and the voice over ip world. those gateway providers are in a unique position to do exactly that filtering. they have modern software control equipment -- senator: at a point of entry. prof. schulzrinne: at a point of entry. senator: i understand what you are talking about because it is more or less the gateway between the ip originated call and the traditional telco exchange. what sorts of technologies exist out there today and rough order of magnitude, what kind of costs are we talking about? i am not anrinne: equipment vendor, so i don't want to speculate too much, but generally speaking, these devices are designed to be highly programmable, so they already have interfaces or other
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purposes such as billing and other control measures they take to prevent fraud. that with existing deployed technology that requires not adding hardware but adding additional software functionality, that is well within the realm of feasibility. senator: thank you very much. thank you, madam chair. sen. collins: thank you. senator kaine. senator: thank you, madam chairwoman, and thank you to all the witnesses for being here, and for your testimony. i noted that the house appropriations bill was released and it proposes for the sec in fiscal year 2016 a $300 million budget, which is a $25 million millionw 2015 and $75 below the president's budget request. we have a lot of budget issues,
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but this is an issue that demands figure is enforcement and at a very time when we need it for this challenge and other , dramatically reducing the fcc's budget seems unwise to me. that's a personal opinion. let me talk about the issue of consumer education. i would assume that has to be a key part of this. enforcement and the technical approach to solving the problem, but some of it has to be on the consumer side. in your testimony, you started to get this lot because you knew that these calls were scams. to get the best way information out to seniors or others who might befall horrible to scams, and what is the best advice we should eat -- be and what iso scams, the best advice we should be giving? what are the best channels through which to get advice to
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people, in your view? say the bestwould devices to not answer the calls. if you answer the calls, -- best advice is to not answer the calls. if you answer the calls, you are already giving them more information than they have. answer the calls, eventually they stop calling you. but then they will change their caller id and try again, thinking maybe this time you will answer the call. robo, but thoseo things have to be programmed, and then when they change, you start all over. i hate to say it again, but it is whack a mole. it is totally whack a mole. there is one company that keeps calling that is associated with
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five different companies with a bunch of different phone numbers , and you can't chop off all those heads. from one, to the other, to the other, to the other, and there is nothing you can do about it. senator: how about to my enforcement community experts, what is the advice you think we should beginning? this committee has a website with information and a hotline for complaints. we try to use these hearings as a way to give people advice. here is what you should do. what is your general thought about the best advice we should be giving people? sameandurand: we have the information on our website and we do consumer education across .he state another peas of advice is not going to be don't answer the phone. but if you answer the phone and hesitation, hang up. you will say hello and there will be dead silence until the
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robo call cakes in. but the problem, and that is why we need the help -- my father will be 85 next month. he tells me nobody ever calls me. , some of those folks, what we tell them, how often we tell them, if the phone rings, they are going to answer the phone, and they are thrilled to talk to anybody. we need more help than consumer education, which we beat the drum daily on, but the question is a good one. consumersman: education is a critical component of our work. it is generally consistent with what you have heard. if you pick up the phone and you don't know who it is, hang up. don't press one. don't press two. hang up the phone. information. that
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we have tremendous outreach with our educational initiative. ms. blase, when you started to do the log, was it because you had been suspicious or you are mad at these folks? was annoyed beyond belief. i kept a little written things saying ok, this one did this, this one did that, kept it on a piece of paper, sometimes sticky notes in my drawer. when consumers union decided to peopleis on, they asked to start keeping a log, so i changed my format from scribbling stuff down to actually making this log, and did it because that's what they asked to do. there were several places, several requirements for this where you log them, then you use a robo call her, then you turn
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off the robo caller and log them then -- robocall blocker, you turn off the robocall blocker, then you log them again to see if it made any difference. i was mostly following their instructions on what to do, but my attention to detail probably got out of hand and i did a whole a more than what i was instructed to do. i wenter your question, back and looked at my written testimony and the 74 calls that i got. 62 of those calls -- it was less than that before when i sent you the log -- adding the ones i got back, 62 of those were robocalls that were not charities, were actual telemarketing or scam calls. so, 62 out of 74 were horrible things. to answer kept -- some of the other questions, even kept carrier locations from some of these to see if i could find some kind of pattern, but i
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couldn't. they are all over the map. you have an interesting story because you kind of combined the robocalls that might be directed toward seniors with those that might be directed toward businesses. you are running a business out of your house. you're not going to be successful in business if you don't answer the phone. have you had conversations with other business owners, other small business owners? are they experiencing the same thing? we're talking about two different kinds of scam calls and iamb wondering how constant it is on the business side, especially small business. gone online have and looked at testimonials from business people, and it is awful. these people call three times a day. i get this call five times a week. i tell them to stop calling and they keep calling. acrossetty much rampant
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the board. about peoplething having some information. of course, the one trying to sell the bracelet that starts, "hello seniors," well, he had enough i was on a clock and ran over. sen. collins: senator donnelly. senator donnelly: i will give him a pass today. [laughter] thank you all for being here. in your written testimony you cite an example of a complaint from an 80-year-old woman from st. louis, ranking members state who received an unwanted call for a back brace.
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for by medicare. we have heard about these calls. those who have received these harassing phone calls from medical equivalent suppliers, that they neither want nor need. the suppliers use aggressive tactics to persuade seniors into ordering expensive items at medicare's expense we have an obligation to protect the privacy of seniors, and also to protect taxpayer dollars. can you talk a little bit more, in your position as deputy attorney general about the trends you've seen in regards to calls like these? mr. dandurand: to talk about what is senator kaine said and senator mccaskill, funding is a big problem. if we will cut funding enforcement, we will have a big problem.
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when we increased the ability to register your cell phone, we increased the number of fonts are you responsible for from 2 million to 4 million with no more people to deal with it. they know that. landlinesis away from toward cell phones they figure how to get your cell phone. it will not have mushroomed because we still get a lot of complaints. more complaints from those who register a landline. they are getting ahead of technology and they are really working on people's cell phones, even with the sophistication the elbows have to block these. sen. kaine: what is the water to things we can do to help you? mr. dandurand: there is a no call working group that we have right now. they stay abreast of all live the cutting edge things that are available to use. receive,that we can
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senator mccaskill's bill that she is looking at but i have not seen it, but hopefully that will help with this, those things will be helpful. but i have to give credit, as i can, to the feds to all of the assistance they give to the states as it is. ms.tor donnelly: blase, you are a tireless bulldog on this issue. as you look at this, one of the as my that has struck me caller id comes up and displays fbi. that means so many things to people in our country. when you saw that, how did you know that was a scam? ms. blase: i did know what i saw fbi. the phone and answered the call, and did not take my 15th two got into the camp because -- the because demands that we
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are conducting an investigation and your name popped up. i said why would my name problem in a drug investigation? i called him a fraud and hung up. and then i called my local office of the fbi because it was a d.c. area code. they said it was totally a scam and he did the right thing. if you haveelly: one or two recommendations for people around the country, has you have gone through a lot of this, what would be the one or two things that you would most say to them, here is what you really need to do when this starts >s? do not pick up the votes. do not press one, do not press two, do not do any of those things. if you can not pick up the
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phone, that is what you should do. but too many of us have to know what is on the other end of that line. who are private callers, who once their phone numbers not to display. when he seenow private caller if it is that your friend in new zealand or if to scamsomebody calling you or to try to sell you something. least pickted to at up those unknown callers or private caller things just to find out what it is. as and as you know what it is, hang it up. i've a friend who will not refuse to answer those. she will always pick up the phone. know how many times i tell her not to. senator donnelly: thank you. i am right on time. sen. collins: you are indeed. you get a gold star. senator blumenthal. senator blumenthal: thank you.
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battled against these kinds of scams and often we look to the ftc because of its broader authority. we were members of a working group, and so let me ask you first, can you give us some examples of violations that you could not pursue because of lack of authority? what i would say in that regard, where we encountered challenges, it is presented by the common carrier exemption. there is a blurry line between telemarketers and carriers. we will worked closely with our colleagues at the fcc to address this issue, to where we see carriers. the distinction between carriers and noncarriers can be very grave. senator blumenthal is that an authority problem? ms. greisman: it is a
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jurisdiction problem. it is part of the ftc statute. senator blumenthal: so there is a vacuum there that has to be filled. ms. greisman: correct. senator blumenthal: any other areas where your authority really has to be routed to give you the worst the jurisdiction. ms. greisman: nothing readily comes to mind. let me think about that. senator blumenthal: that is the basis for legislative changes. to broaden your authorities so that enforcement can be more effective. because that authority essentially turns these violations into garden-variety scams. they are dressed up in new technology, but they are basically scams, con artist, using different technology. what you need is the resources and the authority to go after them. ms. greisman: i agree. thank you. senator blumenthal: you
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mentioned, assistant attorney general, you'll been talking in the working groups against some of the cutting edge issues. can you give us some ideas of what those are? ,r. dandurand: i defer to them because i do not sit on those calls. i do not want to talk about something i am not first in. our no call people who were on those calls can do that. i would not want to try to talk about something i'm not versed in. senator blumenthal: what are you doing that is cutting edge? traditional law enforcement, and our colleagues at the state level, the different types of technological solutions that have we have been stimulating the marketplace to develop also discussing our efforts to work with the common carriers as they alluded to before, to be more proactive in their antifraud efforts. senator blumenthal: do you have data on how often the do not call registry isn't used -- is
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amused? bused? ms. greisman: that is an interesting question. to the rest of my knowledge we innot know of telemarketers accessing the do not call registry in an improper matter. it is truly the exception for any single one of those telemarketers to have access to the registry. they are getting a calling list from regenerators, from other sources. senator blumenthal: probably those other sources are readily available to them as they do not need to abuse the registry. ms. greisman: i think that is a correct assumption. prof. schulzrinne: they can do sequential dialing. it is easy to find out which area codes are assigned. listso not need calling
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for that. they do try to target with publicly available list as well. senator blumenthal: i want to thank this can all for this very informative and helpful testimony. thank you madam chair for having the hearing. seconds left generally yield to senator kaine. [laughter] they willnnelly: never get over this. [laughter] sen. collins: thank you. i will ask one final question, everyone, including senator kaine was to have one final question they are welcome to do so also. startling statistics in your testimony. 2009 that the end of the ftc received 53,000 robo calls
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per month complaints. to 150,000mber is up complaints per month. that is an explosion of complaints. i can tell you, most people do not call the ftc. and register a complaint. they do not even know that is an option. so what do you do with those 150,000 complaints that you're getting? ms. greisman: they are to lawbly valuable enforcement and there in a database for our colleagues. we mine the data and we generate targets from that data. i cannot under emphasize how critical it is for consumers to file complaints with us. and i appreciate them. miss blaze has done just that. sen. collins: that is very helpful to know, because i think when consumers file complaints,
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they often wonder was it worth it, was anyone listening, did anything happen, is anyone going to get back to me? do you actually trying to respond to the complaint? ms. greisman: that is just not practical given the volume. sen. collins: but when people have complained on your site, do forhave a list of tips them, or advice for them to avoid becoming a victim? ms. greisman: absolutely. when they file a complaint online there are lots of buttons that can find -- revised consumer education. sen. collins: i put out a newsletter in the area agency on aging, senior centers, and what we are thinking is having some thatof clip out coupon
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consumers can take with them, or that we can try using aarp to put into people's homes so they know what to do. there are very few people who blase, and. really know what is going on. prior to looking into this matter, if i had seen the irs, or the police department, on my landline at home. you can bet i would answer that call. now i hope i would have been able to discern that it was not legitimate, i hope it will not be legitimate. for most people, that is a pretty scary name or number to see come up, especially when it is the legitimate number. one thing we are
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also seeing, and it may have already been mentioned, as we are seeing e-mails with fbi saying contact immediately with regard to investigations taking place. one of my hoaxes that are hearing today will help andeighten public awareness and it has been particularly value professor to learn from you that the technology is out there. and to me, that is the most important take away from this hearing today. i think we need to push the telephone companies, to implement the technology in the name of consumer protection. i will be following the ftc's work with great interest in this area. senator mccaskill? while we wereill:
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talking, i went on to try to file a complaint rate it was a straightforward. there is a lot of information when you go to the homepage. allows you to link through to a complaint. the one thing i do not find this please file a complaint because it helps us catch them. a very good point. ase,tor mccaskill: ms bl your gaining the tip of the iceberg with these complaints. and there people out there like ms blase who is my favorite witness and forever. you are my capable. your no-nonsense, wrap them up, get this thing solved. there are a lot of people out there who if they knew filing the complaint would help you find these guys and catch
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them, they would be much more interested in going through the process. maybe on the front page, where you have all these different options of avoiding robo calls, maybe if you just say by filing these complaints you want us catch them, it would increase the number of complaints. ms. blase: i think that is exactly right. becaused filing them, nothing seemed to go away. i do not know if it was making a difference in but if you tell a, this is going to make a difference, i will go right back to doing it. senator mccaskill there you go. maybe you do not need anybody else. ms. blazes back on it. [laughter] sen. collins: senator kaine. sen. tillis: i'm going to ask an additional 15 questions. [laughter] sen. collins: this is been extremely illuminating, and i
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think we can make a real difference here. and helping the public to be more aware. i love the idea of having an automatic response that goes to consumers who file complaints, that tells them that it is helpful to them. i think that would help them feel that it was worthwhile, -- if you does not are not responding to their specific complaints people like to make like they are just feel like they are making a difference and this panel has made a difference. this hearing is about to adjourn. if i could find my closing , which tells me how long the record is to be opened. all of ourhank witnesses, and as you can see there was a great deal of interest in this hearing today.
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haveommittee members will until friday, june 19, to submit any additional questions for the record, or testimony. i want to thank both the majority and minority staff for their work in putting today's hearing together. this concludes the hearing. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, wiich is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> a recent security company reports that some 86 million scam phone calls are made in the united states everyone. here on c-span we want to find out if they happen to you. with about 10 minutes in the we would love to hear from you, if you have heard from these scam phone calls. here's how to join the conversation.
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join the conversation on facebook as well and on twitter. let's go straight to your calls. gary in every washington, on our 65 and over line. thank you for calling. caller: i get calls all the time. i have only a landline. day. approximately five a they started 7:30 a.m. in the morning, and and on 10:00 p.m. at night. i have comcast, and they said that there is nothing they can i haven though i have -- two ways to block flown goals -- phone calls that he do not recognize. the last thing they said to me was that there is an app called nomo robo, have you heard of that?
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summary on facebook mentioned that. tried thatave not because i do not have a cell phone or a computer so i did not know if i would have asked this with a landline. host: what happened to this whole idea of the do not call registry? they are still calling, so it is not working. caller: that is the whole point. i agreed with one of the people theyere talking who said just gave up because she tried filing early on and never heard anything back, never got any result, nothing changed. i applied three times to the do not call list, and still nothing changed. host: you can see the numbers
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calling in. so you do not even pick them up? caller: it depends. if it is 7:30 a.m. in the morning and i am just rising and have not put on my glasses i cannot see who it is, there is a , three initials just like where my husband works. they change everything. they give the possible norm berg, you cannot recorded, you cannot call back. sometimes i get people's names, but if you try calling again, they are stolen phones. you get all over the world, all different kinds of accidents and if you try to be belligerent, you get more calls than ever. host: we appreciate you calling us this afternoon. let's hear from lorraine who is in milton, massachusetts.
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good afternoon. we lost lorraine. let's hear from lowell in salem, oregon. number ofget quite a these scam calls. a lot of them he can look up on youtube and you can see people getting back at some of them. a lot of them are from foreign get certified with microsoft. we get continue on wall ones from microsoft about a virus. they are certified microsoft partner that was recently removed from the list, but they claim they are a certified partner. host: does that phrase your suspicion right away that it is something from microsoft coming to you over the telephone? caller: yes, exactly. then the other ones, they also spoof telephone numbers. -- weird numbers
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that you cannot call back. 12345000, something like that. it is something where you need to have a crackdown, especially with the spoof and phone numbers. we appreciate your calls. we've been showing you the hearing this afternoon, the recent hearing in the last couple of weeks on telephone scams, particularly the one target seniors. here is some from facebook. that you should never ever conduct any business over the phone with deeply you do not know. also, this is all true, my dad got scammed, and we had to fight to get those responsible prosecuted. texas, amy,s, welcome. caller: hello.
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recently, against my bought someent, magnifying glasses. the whole thing was covered by a robo case, and over was 1995 41495it or $14.95 plus shipping and handling which usually is about eight dollars. by the time i got through, before i hung up on this robo call, it was up to $30. i only wanted one pair of glasses. i did not want two. respond too human to
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to even take my number. , and iome calling finally got a human being, and i canceled it. they had all this other stuff they wanted to send me and everything like that. i canceled most of it. host: how did you get in touch with the human? caller: i phoned and phoned, and sometimes you just punched zero and all the the senate you're talking to a human. rudetunately i was very and taught them some new swearwords because they really did not want this. they finally did deliver two pairs of glasses. area. in a very remote host: thank you for joining in. let's hear from marion and pennsylvania. have you seen some of these phone calls? borderlinem the senior citizen.
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i am 63. for the last six years i have been receiving phone calls from numerous zip codes, numerous area codes all over the country due to president obama's stimulus package i could reduce my interest rate on credit card. number hadmy phone been a business. so for the first two years i ignored it, thinking they were trying to reach the business. as they kept continuing, they been continuing for years. i constantly say -- equity fund for do not call it but these through various area codes throughout the united states. -- i still keep
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getting them, about several months ago i received a phone call and i indicated that i wanted to speak to his supervisor. list.e the me off the the person on the other end was the most rude person, and i fed into it, unfortunately. he kept telling me that the supervisor did not want to speak to me, that i was an old fart, i do not know what information they have great i proceeded to call my phone company as well as the police department to block that. there is nothing i can do, they still keep coming through with calls from other area codes all across the united states. host: a couple more phone calls and phone scams. a quick headline. this is the sacramento one in california.
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new scams and tricks , they say. host: a caller. caller: something they did not realize, these ads are on the tv all the time, and a lot of this is fishing for information. call now and you will get a free wheelchair, and all they want to do is get your number, it is an incredible medicare scam. you think you'll get something yourfor getting them information. and then euro and the list of numbers for everybody. plus you have the said people that will actually try to get their free wheelchair. , his dadbuddy of mine lost thousand dollars through some kind of scam. host: and it all generated three phone call? caller: in his case, it was unsolicited.
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arethe ones that scare me the ones on tv. that is crazy. host: we have covered a number on medicaid and medicare abuse and let's eat we can get one or two more calls. knoxville, tennessee. norma, welcome. caller: hello. i just had to call in. i have terminal illness, and i'm always seeing these programs where they want to you -- to give you something, and it will be covered by medicare. i just recently started getting a few calls. me, they give me a name and they told me it was probably human services in
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nashville, tennessee. i had been trying to get medicaid here. she told me that so it was. i said give me a number and a name. she gave me a name, but would not give me a number. i said you been working on your medical aid. i was foolish enough to believe her, because i have been and i received information. --er on host: we are a little bit of trouble with your phone call. thank you for sharing some of your story. you can find more comments on facebook. looking ahead, coming up in primetime on the c-span networks, we want to tell you what is ahead. starting at 8:00.m


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