NOT AGAIN: Are robocalls making you feel shaken and stirred? FCC’s anti-robocall law aims to change that

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FCC: "STIR/SHAKEN broadly implemented" on June 30

FILE – In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, a man uses a cell phone in New Orleans. Voters across the U.S. received anonymous robocalls in the days and weeks before Election Day urging them to “stay safe and stay home” — an ominous warning that election experts said could be an effort to scare voters into sitting out the election. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRPROUD) – So how many robocalls have you received this month?

My guess is that you probably have gotten so many that you can’t remember the exact number.

In the United States, there were 4.4 Billion Robocalls in April, according to robocall-prevention service YouMail.

Well, the Federal Communications Commission is trying to end the unwanted phone calls.

July 1 is the first day since the FCC’s STIR/SHAKEN caller identification framework went into effect.

According to the FCC, “STIR/SHAKEN enables phone companies to verify that the caller ID information transmitted with a call matches the caller’s real phone number.”

If providers have done what is needed to implement STIR/SHAKEN, they can certify in the Robocall Mitigation Database.

Thursday is the end of a process which started on March 31, 2020 with a Report and Order from the Federal Communications Commission.

So will unwanted calls be blocked on July 1?

“On June 30, 2021, the FCC confirmed that the largest voice service providers had implemented these standards in the IP sections of their networks, in accordance with the FCC’s deadline.”

So what about the smaller carriers?

The Federal Communications Commission says “some small carriers were afforded an extension of this deadline”

The FCC states that on September 28, “phone companies must refuse to accept traffic from voice service providers not listed in the Robocall Mitigation Database.”

The Federal Communications Commission is offering tips on how to deal with the unwanted spam calls:

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.
  • If the caller claims to be from a legitimate company or organization, hang up and call them back using a valid number found on their website or on your latest bill if you do business with them.
  • If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to press a button to stop receiving calls, or asks you to say “yes” in response to a question, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents, or to use your “yes” to apply unauthorized charges on your bill.
  • Be Aware: Caller ID showing a “local” number no longer means it is necessarily a local caller.
  • If you answer and the caller asks for payment using a gift card, it’s likely a scam. Legitimate organizations like law enforcement will not ask for payment with a gift card.
  • If you receive a scam call, file a complaint with the FCC Consumer Complaint Center by selecting the “phone” option and selecting “unwanted calls.” The data we collect helps us track trends and supports our enforcement investigations.
  • If you have lost money because of a scam call, contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance.
  • Ask your phone company if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage them to offer one. You can also visit the FCC’s website for more information about illegal robocalls and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls.
  • Consider registering your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry. Lawful telemarketers use this list to avoid calling consumers on the list.

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel says, “we’re not going to stop until we get robocallers, spoofers, and scammers off the line.”

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