Cell Phone Robocalls – Illegal in 2020

by Jack

President Trump signed into law a consumer protection law that should stop about 70% of robocalls placed to cell phones.  Unfortunately, home phones didn’t get the same attention. Phones with copper wires are still being repeatedly spammed. However, considering how focused Congress has been on dumping Trump, we should feel lucky we got any relief. The excerpts from the article below should help explain how the law works.

From ABC News:  

“The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, or TRACED Act, increases fines on spam robocallers from $1,500 to as much as $10,000 per illegal call. It also requires phone companies speed up their adaptation of “call authentication technologies” to verify that incoming calls are legitimate before ever reaching consumers, a point Mahoney said is a “big victory.”

“The key is requiring these phone companies to help stop the calls before they reach the consumer and do it at no additional charge,” she told The AP.

While consumers can buy software like Hiya and YouMail to help weed out the billions of robocalls that Americans collectively receive each month on cellphones, this new legislation thrusts the responsibility on service providers to block those calls from ever reaching consumers.

The also requires the Federal Communications Commission and service providers to develop a system which informs customers when they’re receiving a “spoofed” call — when the caller ID is made to look like it’s coming from the same area code, a well-known agency, such as the Internal Revenue Service or company. That system, however, will not work for home phones connected to copper landlines, so the measure calls on the FCC and phone companies to find an alternative for those customers.

Faking caller ID numbers and placing automated telemarketing calls to consumers without their written permission is already illegal in the U.S., but enforcing their subsequent fines has come with hurdles. While U.S.-based robocalls are easier to trace, many of the robocalls that Americans receive originate from overseas, and Consumer Reports says those will likely continue without sufficient interruption. “ 


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3 Responses to Cell Phone Robocalls – Illegal in 2020

  1. J. Soden says:

    I have Call Filter from Verizon and TrueCaller on my cell. Both are the FREE versions, and I rarely get spam calls. TrueCaller seems to work better at identifying incoming calls other than those on your Contact List, and those numbers can be easily blocked.

    Nice thing about TrueCaller is that if you ID a call as Spam, the next time ANYone receives a call when using that app, the message is flagged as spam. TrueCaller will also allow you to block texts, but Call Filter won’t. At least. the Free version won’t. For that, you have to call Verizon.

    By the way – if you receive a Spam call from any Verizon number, be sure to notify Verizon. I found one from Temecula a couple of years ago, and they definitely DO want to know!!!

  2. J. Soden says:

    In a related issue here in AZ – and probably in your state – AT&T magically shows up and tries to get you to switch to their cell plan whenever you have a service call with DirecTV. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to the AT&T high-pressure sales pitch. One lady in the park where we live had the AT&T guy actually follow her to a doctor’s appointment to continue pitching!
    And now, she’s trying to get her cell/internet bills straightened out because she fell for the pitch. Consumers beware!!!

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