Carter, McMorris Rodgers commend pandemic scams bill becoming law

U.S. Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) on Jan. 5 applauded the bipartisan Combating Pandemic Scams Act of 2020 being signed into law.

“This law will help save lives and money, and will help ensure Americans do not fall victim to a pandemic-related scam,” Rep. Carter said. “Especially as vaccines are shipped across the country, Americans need to have full confidence that what they are receiving is legitimate and not fraudulent.” 

H.R. 6435, sponsored in April 2020 by Rep. Carter and cosponsors including U.S. Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH), will prevent scams including mail, telemarketing, internet, and robocall fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill in November 2020 followed by U.S. Senate passage in December 2020. The president on Tuesday signed the measure into law.

“With this law, Americans will have unprecedented access to learn about scams that are happening so they can avoid them,” said Rep. Carter. “I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate and President Trump for bringing this bill across the finish line.”

H.R. 6435 requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC) to inform the public about any reported scams, according to a bill summary provided by the congressman’s office.

The new law also requires the FTC, along with HHS, USPS, and the ICCC, to develop and disseminate up-to-date information to the public on coronavirus scams, as well as how to report such scams, according to the summary, which noted that a national database on scams also must be established in consultation with other federal partners.

“The last thing Americans need as we rebuild and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic is a harmful scam that can destroy their lives,” Rep. McMorris Rodgers said. “Unfortunately, as our nation continues to fight this virus, bad actors are targeting Americans — especially seniors and people with disabilities — with fake treatments, cures and more.”

With distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine under way, Rep. McMorris Rodgers added that the nation “must remain vigilant to protect people and hold bad actors accountable. This bipartisan bill signed into law today will help us do just that.”