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Herrera Beutler, lawmakers urge ‘decisive’ action on COVID-19 scams

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, joined a bipartisan group of members this week to press the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to help protect people from coronavirus-related scams.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Herrera Beutler urged decisive action to ensure the welfare of Clark County residents and people nationwide who have been targeted by such schemes, according to a press release from her office.

“Over the past couple of weeks, numerous scam robocalls have been reported, including warnings of national quarantine orders or martial law, offers of free test kits, targeting of individuals with pre-existing conditions, and requests for personal information to confirm a check from the government,” the press release says.

In the letter, Herrera Beutler and other lawmakers highlight the impact these scams have on vulnerable communities targeted by fraudsters.

The lawmakers said they are particularly concerned about the threat these fraudulent calls pose to elderly Americans and low-income communities.

People older than 65 make up an eighth of the nation’s population, but they represent as many as a third of all scam victims due to increased memory loss associated with advanced age, loneliness and difficulty spotting red flags that indicate something is a scam.

Last year, Herrera Beutler supported the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrent Act, which was approved by Congress and later signed into law. The act gives federal agencies enhanced authority to address scam robocalls.


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