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. “