Kuster-Backed Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Pandemic Scams Passes House
Washington, November 17, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Today, bipartisan legislation that Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) helped to introduce earlier this year, H.R. 6435, the Combating Pandemic Scams Act of 2020, passed the House of Representatives. Kuster is an original cosponsor of the legislation, which was introduced in April to protect Americans from COVID-19 related scams. Congresswoman Kuster spoke on the House floor in support of the legislation earlier today. The Combating Pandemic Scams Act would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the United States Postal Service (USPS), and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC) to inform the public about coronavirus scams so that Americans will be able to better protect themselves from fraud.
“During these challenging times for our country, I have been deeply moved by Americans’ commitment to helping their neighbors through this crisis,” said Rep. Kuster. “Sadly, where many see an opportunity to lend a helping hand, others see a chance to make a quick buck by scamming unsuspecting victims. This bipartisan legislation will help to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our communities and crack down on scams by keeping the American people informed of these devious efforts. I’m glad my colleagues have joined together in support of this commonsense measure, and I will continue working to support Americans through this unprecedented time.”
The Combating Pandemic Scams Act would require the FTC, along with HHS, USPS, and the ICCC, to develop and disseminate information to the public on coronavirus scams including mail, telemarketing, internet, and robocall fraud. This information must be kept up-to-date with the latest data and include instructions on how to report fraud and abuse. The legislation also requires the timely establishment of a national database on scams in consultation with relevant federal partners.
Watch Rep. Kuster speak on the House floor here or read below:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of H.R. 6435, the Combating Pandemic Scams Act of 2020.
I was proud to help introduce this bipartisan bill with my colleague, Buddy Carter, in April. And I appreciate the support of our colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle. I’d like to take a moment to commend Buddy for his leadership on this important topic.
During these challenging times for our country, I have constantly been impressed by Americans’ commitment to helping their neighbors to pull through this crisis.
Sadly, where many see an opportunity to lend a helping hand, others see a chance to make a quick buck.
Scammers have posed as medical researchers offering opportunities to participate in clinical trials, they’ve attempted to sell non-existent PPE, and they’ve even tried to trick seniors into buying fake COVID-19 test kits.
These shameful acts must not only be condemned – but Congress must take action to crack down on these scams and inform the American people of these devious efforts.
Our bipartisan legislation will help stop COVID scams by directing federal agencies and departments to inform Americans about these criminal schemes so they can stay alert and keep themselves safe.
By aggregating data and providing the public with information on mail, telemarketing and robocall fraud schemes, Americans can defend themselves and their families. This bill is an important step forward and I urge my colleagues to support it.