tv Experts Testify on Scams Targeting Elderly CSPAN November 30, 2021 6:13am-7:00am EST
so many years. so, we thank you for being here. senator braun was with us earlier and i want to acknowledge senator bronze attendance at the hearing and maybe we'll be back here. so we'll take a brief recess now to vote at least. so that ranking member scott and i can vote and then we'll come back and resume the hearing. mhm.
>> okay. the hearing will resume and um i wanted to start by um uh acknowledging that senator gillibrand senator warnock have joined us the webex and i'll start with my questions and then turned to ranking member scott. i want to start with with kate kleiner kate. as i mentioned, your story is so powerful and unfortunately for america it is not, it is not unique. i think every member of
the committee was moved by what you said as i said, your written testimony was powerful enough. but hearing it directly from you had a big impact on me and i know other members. so we're grateful you're here and we're grateful that your story can help other seniors when there are scammers out there and perpetrators of fraud trying to rip people off. i wanted to focus on one part of your story and the story of many others kate. you said that you know, i should say that social isolation is not something new for seniors, but for many people, the pandemic made this um terrible isolation that much worse. so do you believe the pandemic left you more susceptible to being scammed?
>> i really do. when i think back to the beginning of the pandemic when we were first locked down and it was so strange to be home without any physical contact with other folks not seeing your family. it was very hard and upsetting to be by yourself. so i think when this man was kind to me go into facebook that i did react to it more than i would have at any other time. >> i think that's understandable. i thought it was noteworthy among many things. you said that as much as you lost a significant dollar amount, some $39,000 i was just , recounting that to some reporters in the hallway as we went out to vote. but i was struck as well by what you said on page three of your testimony, where you said, quote the loss that hurts the most was losing his love and losing the family.
i thought i was going to have and what my new future was going to be. that tells us so much about how devastating these scams can be. so kate, we're grateful for your testimony and i know i may be able to come back to you later with some other questions. this question i'll direct to miss williamson and mrs daniel together and you um, it doesn't matter who answers first, but, and as you just, we just made reference to in kate's testimony. she shared that only one person, an employee at a retail store warned her that she might be a victim or might be a target of, of a scam. businesses and financial institutions are of course, uniquely situated to respond to these, these attempts to rip people off. but often the employees of those institutions
aren't trained to detect fraud or to speak in a sensitive and effective manner to the consumer to give them a heads up based upon their experience and their training. as i mentioned, our bill, the bipartisan stop senior scams act would fill in these gaps in both knowledge and training so that we have more instances. so, so it's not just in kate's case one person, but more than one person. um, given people a heads up. so in your view, and i guess for maybe we'll start with mrs daniel just to go in order. in your view, would this legislation help reduce the risk, the risk of older americans being defrauded? >> um, yes, i would think that it would um, you know, any, you know, there's lots of reports out there about, you know, with education and everything....
i think it's very important that the education with the risk we are talking about, i think it would definitely help. during the covid-19 and the chance that there was more risky and covert are still going on so i would say definitely it is. >> ms. williamso? >> i would also support the legislation. i think we need more tools to prevent, to fight these scams upfront and simply the retail employers, employees are the first line of defense there in the stores day in and day out, they know their customers. if they have more training and more information on these scams, they can simply warn the victims not to um, complete this transaction. and it's simply better to not
have the elder transfer away that money than to try to get that money back on the back end. there are just fewer options to retrieve that money once it is transferred away. show less text >> well thank you very much. i'm just as you were answering the question, i'm reminded of a story from years ago on this committee where he heard the story about someone who was a target of a scam. and it wasn't until he was in the banking, the parking lot of the bank where he was about to transfer money that he that he got someone to interrupt and say you got to think about this before you go into the bank. um so the more people that can provide that warning the better i'll turn next to ranking member scott. >> mr chairman. i'll defer my opening questions to my brother from another mother. senator scott from florida.
>> i think we need a microphone >> and you worry about them every day whether somebody's going to try to take advantage of them and when you hear the story of somebody that acts romantically interested in and take somebody's life savings, it just it devastates you because it's very difficult for law enforcement to find these people and to track them down and to be able to prosecute them. and it's so large. so you just your heart goes out to people that this this happens to um my first question is for ms. gre. isman. i wanna thank you for your hard work to protect our seniors and everything you do to bring justice to the criminals who take advantage of our older americans. are there any additional resources or
authorities you and your team need to be there need to carry out your mission. show less text >> senator scott. i appreciate the question. uh the main tool we need back is our ability to obtain effectively efficiently obtain monetary relief under section 13 b of the federal trade commission act. a remedy to fix that is what is truly needed so that we can put money back in people's pockets money from back to people who are defrauded. show less text -- defrauded >> we put out information out of our office to get the seniors to try to get them to do it. ms. pointart, it is disgusting this happened. he gave you hope and he shouldn't have so criminals are despicable.
what advice do you give others to make sure this doesn't happen to them? is there anything where you could say gosh, there was a red flag that i shouldn't -- that i didn't see? others see your testimony and maybe the same thing won't happen to them. >> i've really been astonished at the amount of information that's been said today, that things that are out there, programs that are out there and i knew nothing about them. so i think there's a gap between what's being done and the senior citizens and we need to close that somehow. i'm not so sure the education of the retail personnel is the way to go if i'm in the line at a drugstore buying a gift card and there's a 19 year old kid behind the cash register with a santa hat on. i don't think i'm gonna listen to him about the dangers of buying that gift card. but i think there needs to be some kind of a pamphlet brochure that has
statistics, warning signs and where to go. not sitting at the cash register to take one if you want to, i'm not being handed to you by the cashier. if he says, would you like to have this, but to be automatically put in the bag when you're purchasing a gift card, just put it in the bag. people will go home. a lot of them will throw it away, but many more when they're by themselves will sit and read this and take it to heart. there has to be more education out there and it has to be more visible to the senior citizens, get commercials on the television show scenarios of scams and how they come about and tell people that you're not dumb for falling for it, that these people are so sophisticated and so good at what they do, that you're not being stupid or making bad decisions by being taken in by these people. they're smarter than you are. show less text
-- then you are. >> have you gotten much media attention? has the media been interested in your story? >> i have been interviewed for a newspaper article earlier in the spring and aarp asked me to do a podcast i've done to podcast, but that's that's been show less -- that's been it. >> um mrs v. daniel, i want to thank you for the work you've done. do you think that local businesses have the resources they need to educate their staff on potential fraudulent activity? um and and uh is there anything else that you think that we ought to be doing to help our, our small businesses to do a better job to stop this? >> i think um well, thank you senator scott. great question. um i think there is definitely more education that can be done. um as i mentioned, most of our savvy seniors are groups and we do small business webinars um actually to our accredited businesses and non accredited
businesses, but i think there is definitely more education that we can do with small businesses to, you know, alert them that small business owners and their staffs of the, you know, the the prevention tips and and what to look out for. um, so i definitely, you know, in our area we cover 10 counties were staff nine and you know, um we try to do the best that we can, but i think definitely with more collaboration, um just like we did with aarp this past year and more collaboration with government agencies to be able to provide more education. show >> thank you. thank you. chairman, >> thank you. senator senator scott. thanks very much. next turn to ranking member scott. >> thank you. mr chairman, i'll write my first question to miss daniel. this is daniel under your leadership. the better business bureau is really making a difference in the lives of our
fellow south carolinians. the savvy senior program provides tips on how to spot the latest scams. have you heard from golden americans who utilize the lessons they learned from the program and applied it to their lives? >> yes. and um that's the rewarding part. i mean the rewarding part is, you know, when you hear someone that says that you know that our prevention tips or red flags help them stop from being becoming the next victim. it is very rewarding. um, i can tell a little bit of a story we had that i'm short story, but i had an executive, he was a retired executive um of a very large business here in the rainbow area that came into the office and he wanted to talk because he had a new employment job that he was starting to feel a little um you know it wasn't sure whether it was a scam or not. so he came in and talked to us and um you know he said that basically what he was doing was he had someone
contact him about a job opportunity which was offering a lot of money and he what he was doing, what he started doing was packaging up um items that were shipped to him by his employer and then he would re shift and ship them to someone else. and as soon as he said that because we've seen that before, it's called the employment scam. and we i we just immediately told him you need to stop what you're doing is wrong, it's you know you should be not making that much money. and then he says well i haven't even been paid and he's been doing it for a while. so so then i said you need to stop and he agreed, he agreed um about a couple weeks later we heard back from him and he told me that he got a call from the mall of america, an investigator from all of america and then what he was doing was wrong because when he was shipping was actually bald from
stolen credit cards wow. so he called me and he asked me if i would reach out to the guy from mall of america investigator and so i did and so i let him know the guy was very up and up. he's a very up and up leader. it was a leader in our community and you know, he just got intertwined with something that he thought was right was wrong. and so there was no charges or anything and actually they worked with him later on. we don't really know all the specifics there, but you know, without him coming into the office and talking to us, my worries what he could have been indicted or he could be in jail now. so you know, that's just one example. but thank you. >> that's a very good example and thank god for you're hardworking your dedication on such an important issue. let me ask you one other question
before i turned to ms.greisman. given your background and extensive experience with a better abuses bureau, can you help us understand how to help our seniors who live in rural america. sometimes they don't get the same level of information and they're not perhaps is connected to broadband. they may not have broadband connections. they may not have the same access to information as folks who live in a more suburban areas. is there a way that the savvy senior program helps to encourage and inform our rule? golden -- rural golden americans? >> yes. um, the savvy senior programme does. and it's just a short, very short, basically the program of the years have presented to senior groups, um, in all parts of our 10 counties that we cover even rural areas and what i say is whether we drive 10 miles or 100. we never say no to presenting to education to seniors about scams and fraud. show less text
>> excellent. thank you very much. miss mr reisman, thank you for your, your work and certainly your expertise. i'm certainly proud to co sponsor with chairman casey senate bill 337 to stop senior scams at, which creates an advisory group with industry stakeholders and leading in regulatoryies to identify opportunities for consumers, companies, policymakers and law enforcement to protect our aging community in light of your work with the commission. could you please speak to how this new advisory group can serve to optimize the commission's current practices without duplicating work that has already been done at the the federal level? >> thank you senator scott. look, we're keen to work with you and your staff on any type of legislation that will enhance and improve our ability to serve older adults and to do so more efficiently. so we look forward to working with you on that.
>> thank you, ma'am, mr. chairman? >> thanks very much. we're awaiting of uh, some other senators. i wanted to to continue the question period with one that i had and i'll pick up where the ranking member left off with regard to the witness in this case. miss greisman. we've heard kate's story earlier that i made reference to. and you heard kate's kate cleaners testimony. and in particular of course, what she's identified is a particular kind of scam, a romance scam and we know that she's not alone. unfortunately, this is one of the, the, the areas where there where there was an awful lot of increase or growth in that kind of a scam. in fact, the federal trade commission reported a significant increase in reports of these scams between 2019 and 2020. as americans became more isolated. just looked in your testimony, mister greisman
looking at page four, it says quote for older adults reported losses to romance scams increased from nearly 84 million in 2019 to about 139 million in 2020. so 84, and there are millions of dollars in each, every time it moves up the scale, millions of dollars. and then it goes on to say, your testimony should say it goes on to say among older adults. hardest hit were the 60-69 and 70 to 79 age groups. so basically everybody over 60 between basically 60 and 80, which reported 129 million of the 2020 losses, meaning 129 of 139 million in losses reported by that age group making romance scams, the category of highest reported losses for both groups.
so obviously, um, a lot of money in, in a big, a big cohort of americans being affected by this. so miss grayson, here's my question based on this uptick and romance scams and all the dollars loss because of it during the pandemic, what work is a commission doing to both educate consumers and to prevent to help consumers prevent themselves from being preyed upon by these so called romance scammers. >> thank you chairman first of all, let me say that miss kleiner is indeed a compelling ambador and her testimony is courageous and it highlights how sophisticated romance scams are and how they work hard to build trust and cause enormous harm. one of the main payment systems that romance scammers you are money transfers. um and the ftc
in recent years has sued both major each of the major money transfer networks, moneygram and western union moneygram most recently failed to live up to the requirements of the prior order and crack down on fraudulent transfers across its network. and western union facilitated fraudulent allegedly facilitated fraudulent transfers on its system. and i think that type of law enforcement work goes a long way toward toward minimizing the harm that is caused by wire transfers in connection with romance scams on the education front, pass it on again is our signature education campaign. but what we have seen and and i think what miss kleiner's testimony underscores is how important it is that people have knowledge of scams and that that is the primary goal of the ftc to educate push out information to do it at local um state and federal levels, work with our partners at the better business bureaus. um consumer groups. aarp getting
information out there so that people are aware of the type of skin we know from research makes -- scams we know from research makes it less likely. uh they will fall prey to that scam. >> well, thanks very much. i'm gonna see the rest of my time in turn to senator gillibrand, who's i think connected for her question. >> thank you. mr. chairman, thank you miss griezmann for your testimony. and the answer to the chairman's last question. um i just have a follow up question. um how can the f. t. c. t. c. two more to get information out to seniors and all of their communities so they can recognize this fraud more. um i've been assisted living facilities across new york and i've heard a story after story um stealing life savings. um the grand grandchild scam, the you know all the different kinds of ways. the i. r. s scam. um and it it doesn't end. and we know that um a lot of these artists
are scam. artists are criminals. criminal networks. i know we arrested a criminal network work from india, one from russia. um the fbi works to to subvert these kinds of frauds, but i feel that the ftc needs to work uh perhaps a different way to make financial institutions more aware um to make sure seniors are more aware to make sure um uh places where seniors go assisted living facilities are more aware, what can you do to help solve this problem? show >> senator maximizing our outreach, maximizing our ability to reach in the communities is just a top priority. and it is a challenge. it's especially more it's especially more civil -- more so a special challenge
given a pandemic. but i assure you, our outreach efforts are are constantly being rethought, reevaluated, and it is our goal to reach into the communities at the grass root levels through local , organizations, to the public libraries, through legal services, we have tremendous network of context and we're constantly tapping them both to push out information. so that they have access to the resources we have and can use in them in their communities and also to receive information from them to inform our law enforcement. >> so is your outreach including sort of this urgency that if they are scam that they're going to report these scams. because, obviously, if we don't give the fbi information and law enforcement information to go after them, they will have less data and information to be successful. >> a core piece of information that is indispensable to all of our outreach is to is to report what they're hearing.
go to report fraud.gov. it is absolutely incredibly important that we receive that information so that we know what's going on and we can be proactive. >> are you asking the institutions to do the reporting? because i can promise, you know , seniors that have been scammed , they are not going to go to a website to report the scam. they're not willing to go to the police in the first place. they're not going to go to a website. so are you asking the assisted living facilities and financial institutions to do the reporting? >> we do receive data from certain contributors in the private sector, such as moneygram, western union, better business bureaus. i'm not aware that any financial institutions report directly to us, but that's certainly something that we will give thought to. appreciate it. >> thank you so much for sharing your story. i know it is a horrible,
horrible thing. but you are very courageous and you can prevent what happened to you from happening to other people. can you tell us what you wish was available for you or how would you have been able to be warned more effectively, what would have worked for you and what type of interventions or resources would be helpful for you and your friends? >> i think that we need to get more of this information out to the people. i had no idea where to go. i tried reporting my problem to the police, but couldn't get them to listen to me. so, that was very discouraging and i was giving up at that point. i did call the aarp fraud line and got a very nice man and that is important, to have someone who is compassionate and not speaking down to you, not talking to you like you're senile and can't make good decisions, because that isn't true. but you already feel that way anyway by yourself you don't , think someone else reinforcing
that. >> and to be honest, miss kleiner, these are highly sophisticated criminals. this criminal enterprise of senior fraud is worth hundreds of billions of dollars every year. it is not a small thing and um , you guys are their primary targets because seniors together have over a trillion dollars of assets, so you are right, very rich target for these criminal networks. so, i guess what you're saying is that you would like law enforcement to be better informed so they could have put you in touch with the right people police departments. , so that might be a way mr iss griezmann to reach out to law enforcement so that the ftc can actually brief every police department in america, over the next several years. that would be great. if miss kleinert has an instinct to report this to the police and the police make fun of her or don't take her seriously or say
, well you're stupid. , then not only does this client not get justice or doesn't get to effectively report, but it's going to make her feel that it was her fault and that's exactly the opposite of the nature of these crimes. they are highly sophisticated adversaries who are doing everything they can to steal resources. is that something the ftc can do? >> we do work closely with local police offices and have -- >> have you put together training for them, even just a deck of slides for police departments to use to train also l police officers? >> i do not know if we've specifically done a training for police officers, but we do have a toolkit actually on stopping gift card scams. the driving force of it, the message is that gift cards are for gifts and that toolkit is
targeted toward retailers and it gives them information they can display in their stores. >> that's good. that's super helpful. well, maybe then, i mean, on this committee will have recommendations because that's what our committees do. just from this hearing alone, i hope that you will take some of the information you learned here and implement it. >> well, thanks very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator gillibrand. we will turn to senator blumenthal. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to you and senator scott for having this hearing. i'd like to talk about robocalls, which are a bane of all of our existence. but most especially, i think, for seniors. i hear from them all the time. in 2019, i supported the passage of the telephone robocall abuse, criminal enforcement and deterrence act, known as the
trace act, which directed the fcc to establish standards to protect consumers from unauthenticated numbers and to work with providers to verify the legitimacy of incoming calls. this law has worked in part not a ultimate answer, but now nearly 95% of high risk robocalls do not originate from the 6th largest carriers. -- largest carriers. unfortunately, smaller internet based providers, who have until 2023 to work within the fcc's requirements, now account for the majority of these robocalls. they continue to prey on our seniors. they do so, especially in these times of pandemic, when seniors and all of us are particularly vulnerable to these pitches.
so let me ask you, miss williamson, how effective our are robo callers in reaching consumers, particularly older americans? >> thank you for your questions. scams aimed at older adults are primarily perpetrated over the telephone. so the protections that you mentioned are critical to helping older adults avoid these types of scams. and we certainly thank you for your efforts on that. and, we also believe that there are protections that should be enhanced to further clarify that with respect to the solicitation, the prohibition against solicitation does apply to scam calls. we need further protections against spoofed calls and we absolutely support the fcc's um efforts on that end to date. and we also need to tamp down on
other loopholes, such as the fake charity scams and make sure that when consumers, when older adults are being requested to put their hard earned money to help others, that those charities are actually legitimate. >> taking that point, i think it's an important point about charity scams. how much have you seen a rise in those charity scams during the pandemic? is there an increase? what would you say about charity scams? misses williamson: -- ms. williamson: certainly we don't have data on the charity scams. we just have information that we've heard from consumers and advocates and what we have heard is that there is indeed an uptick in these types of fake charity scams. that older adults at home,
isolated, do want to help in some way and they are being victimized by these types of scams. so we, we do are looking to put more protections in place to help avoid those types of scams. >> do you find that seniors are particularly vulnerable to these scams, as we have found when i was attorney general in connecticut, during times of crisis, in cases of natural disaster, whether it's hurricanes, floods, we've seen a lot of both and other weather events. is there an increased vulnerability because of those natural disasters? ms. williamson: oh, absolutely. scammers read the headlines, they follow what is happening. especially if they're outside the united states, they follow or track what is happening in terms of disasters, in terms of other issues coming up in the news and they tailor their scams to fit those details. so if there is a natural disaster, if there is a fire,
flood in an area, they are targeting consumers in those areas. they're targeting older adults. they are targeting people who they know to be sympathetic, who they know to be charitable, to get them to turn over their hard earned money to them. sen. blumenthal: what i have advised seniors is that they should contribute and be generous, but make sure they know that the organization that they're supporting is in fact the one that they really want to support. in other words, americares, the red cross, these organizations are established, they do good work. would you agree? ms. williamson: i absolutely would agree that there are ways to research the charity and make sure that it is legitimate. um, make sure that it will help the people you intend, that your
money will help the people you intend your money to, to be directed towards. there are so many ways to absolutely find out about the background of an organization. so, we always advise for consumers to be wary, that if they're being solicited over the phone to research the organization through other means. and to really give their money to reputable charities. sen. blumenthal: thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman: thank you senator , blumenthal. the vote, the second vote just started almost about 10 minutes into the votes. so we gotta hustle, we'll hear from senator rosen, who rejoined us that senator kelly and then we'll close. sen. rosen: thank you. i've already voted, i was
presiding in the chair. thank you, chairman. casey, of course, ranking member scott. this is a really important hearing. scams against seniors are nothing new and there are only increasing in scope and severity . and i appreciate you holding this important hearing and for all the witnesses here today for the important work that you do. nevada is no different than some of the other states and uh most other states and and we have a lot of challenges in health scams, particularly now of course with the pandemic. so you know, one of the challenges throughout the pandemic has just been the unchecked spread of misinformation, disinformation of course, resulting in an increase in scams, especially those targeted at seniors. in fact, according to the federal trade commission in 2020 -- commission, in 2020, citizens of nevada over the age of 60 lost more than $36.5 million to scams. it's a lot of money. some of the most common covid 19
scams in nevada related to those involving the creation and distribution of fake vaccine cards and contact tracing scams in which scanners poses. health department officials asking for sensitive personal information such as your medicare or social security number. fortunately, our attorney general, his office has compiled a list of covid 19 related scams and tips on how to avoid falling victim. so people have resources where to check, if they're able, and as elected officials, i believe we have to do as much as we can to get the word out about these scams. ms. greisman, for the record, i want to really clear the air for nevada seniors and get this out everywhere that i can. would a legitimate house department official ever asked for a senior's personal information like their medicare or social security number with the contact tracing for covid 19? >> no. no legitimate entity would make an unsolicited request for that kind of personal information. >> thank you.
i'm going to reiterate that no legitimate entity would make a request for that personal information. thank you. of course, i know you've been speaking about this, but for those who do fall victim and they do give their sensitive personal information when they fall victim to now a covid related scam, can you talk about, miss williamson, some of the resources available to the senior or someone who's helping them, maybe another family member or a caregiver to uh help recover that information reverse -- information, reverse potential damage? >> of course. there are many resources available to older adults who have fallen victims to scams and frauds. i think the first line of defense is for the older adults and his or her advocate to really audit all of their financial accounts. call their banks, call the credit card company make sure , that they reach out to law enforcement organizations. of course, the ftc has a great part of their website that will help victims, as well. i would refer folks to that as
well. what is also important is to reach out to the irs or the social security administration. if there has been a disclosure of personally identifiable financial information, just make sure those organizations as well know that we've been victimized by this scam. it is also important, really, to reach out to a legal services organization or another lawyer to make sure that you protect , your whatever money or assets you have remaining. because if the fraudsters really have your financial information, they could be doing damage to not only your credit report, but also trying to seek other assets that you may have. >> thank you. we have been really proud because of our u.s. attorney in nevada, they have appointed a covid 19 fraud coordinator to lead investigations to help with just the kinds of things you're talking about. our attorney general did announce the creation of the covid 19 task force to help protect nevadans.
all nevadans, not just seniors, who may fall victim. it's a whole of government approach that we're trying in my home state. it's a response for 15 agencies. that includes the fbi, secret service, small business office inspector general, the post office, police departments, we are really trying to pull together to to protect people. because we did this nevada ranks , first amongst all states for the reported number of total fraud reports in 2020 with a whopping number of over 35,000 frauds reported, fraud reports. 18 months into the pandemic, what can you or what lessons have we learned from these types of task force that we can afford to to other states to help protect people? >> because we have to vote, i want to make sure -- >> we can take it off the record. >> if we can do that in writing
that would be better. thank you. thank you for coming back for the hearing. senator kelly. >> thank you. i wanted to follow-up on senator blumenthal's question about robo calls. arizona ranked first in complaints to the ftc about the do not call registry or they do -- or the do not call list. arizonans are getting these calls all hours of the day. some folks are getting hundreds of calls in a week. nobody can blame arizonans for being frustrated about this. i think we all are. there's been a fair amount of activity in the courts this year related to the dcpa -- tcpa, the telephone consumer protection act. could you give us an update where things stand? penalties, maybe an example of a specific case, and what congress can or should do in order to better protect our constituents. >> senator kelly, obviously robo
calls, unwanted calls whether live or prerecorded are a significant consumer protection issue. each month, the ftc is receiving some 450,000 complaints from consumers about unwanted calls. typically 68% of them relate to robocalls. ftc has a vital, vibrant law enforcement programme combating unwanted telemarketing calls. we recently settled with cruise line grand bahamas just earlier this week involving millions and millions of unwanted calls. we brought some 150 law enforcement actions and coordinated with all of our, our state partners, including arizona. so, both in terms of law enforcement and consumer outreach, it is a significant part of the work that we do. sen. kelly: what is the rate of robo calls? has the number been trending up or down?
>> and what has been reported to us, it has held pretty stable at about 450,000 a month. what we're seeing are the call blocking technologies are working. recently, stir shaken has been deployed among the larger carriers. and senator blumenthal mentioned , it took effect just in june of this year. obviously a lot of issues remain , with those smaller voip service providers, of which senator blumenthal also talked about. we've sued a number of them are -- of them. along with state partners. and that there are a number that the doj has sued. so there is significant law enforcement work to clamp down on these unwanted calls. there's no question about that.
i assure you that we are hard at work on the issue. >> ok, thank you. >> thank you and i yield back the remainder of my time. >> thank you. in light of the fact that the vote is now into overtime, i think we have to close right now, but i'll be submitting a statement for the record as i'm, i understand senator. uh, remember scott will as well, let me just say this for the record. they are two things number one, , we want to thank our witnesses for the testimony they brought to us today on these terrible scams. in ways we can prevent them and for the record, if any senator has additional questions for witnesses or statements to be added, the hearing record will be open for seven days until thursday, september 30. thank you all for being here. we are adjourned.
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