Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., led her colleagues in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission asking for the agency to take action to protect and educate consumers on the issue of cellphone fraud and assist victims in understanding their recourse options.

In 2018, there were 680,000 reported victims of cellphone fraud, a 78% increase from 2017. Sens.Tina Smith, D-Minn., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Jon Tester, D-Mo., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Angus King, I-Maine, Ron Wyden, D-Oro., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., joined Klobuchar on the letter.

“Consumer protection is a core responsibility of the FCC,” Klobuchar and her colleagues wrote. “While we recognize that consumers can take steps to better protect themselves from this fraud by securing their cellphone account with a pin number through their wireless provider or freezing their credit reports at the National Consumer Telecom and Utilities Exchange, consumers cannot protect themselves from dangers they do not know about and these measures are not foolproof. “The FCC offers virtually no information to consumers about how to prevent this type of fraud or information about how to seek recourse if they are targeted. Given the seriousness of this issue and its growing prevalence, we urge the FCC to take action to better educate consumers about cellphone fraud and assist victims in understanding their recourse options.”