Federal measures could curb robocalls

WASHINGTON – Are you at your wit’s end with those annoying robocalls?

The latest scam is they are using cloned local phone numbers so while you might not otherwise answer them with unfamiliar area codes and exchanges, they are now using familiar ones.

In the first four months of 2019, there have been over 60.5 million of those calls made in the 845 area code and in 914, there have been 56.8 million.

There is new legislation approved in the US Senate that is now headed to the president for his signature.

The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act would work to combat robocalls by:

  1. Giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the ability to fine robocall scheme perpetrators $10,000 per call made.
  2. Increasing the timeframe under which the FCC could find and prosecute robocall schemes from one to three years after a call is placed.
  3. Requiring the Department of Justice (DOJ), FCC, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other agencies and state officials to issue recommendations to Congress on how to further bolster methods to combat robocalls.
  4. Requiring telecommunications companies to implement effective call authentication technology, which could help stop robocalls before they reach the phones of unsuspecting victims.
  5. Requiring opt-in/opt-out robocall blocking to be available in a consistent and transparent way, at no extra charge to consumers.
  6. Providing greater resources to prevent one-ring scams.
  7. Bolstering the FCC’s ability to trace phone companies responsible for sending the vast amount of spoofed calls.
  8. Protecting hospitals from unlawful robocalls.

Specifically, this legislation would require companies to implement Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) standards.

This means that calls traveling through interconnected phone networks would have their caller ID “signed” as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers. SHAKEN/STIR digitally validates the handoff of phone calls passing through the complex web of networks, allowing the phone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify that a call is from the person making it.



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