A Step Forward in Ending Robocalls

The US House of Representatives recently passed a bill aiming to end robocalls. The “Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act,” or TRACED Act would add some provisions to what the FCC is doing now to prevent this increasing nuisance to Americans. The most notable provision is the addition of authentication software to provide a more effective caller-ID. Telecommunication service providers will be required to add this software to their systems if the bill becomes law.

Some voice service providers are already takings steps to block and alert customers to fraudulent calls on their own. AT&T customers may have noticed recently calls coming through labeled “Fraud Risk” and “Telemarketer.” The company is also blocking calls completely that are known to coming from a scam source. All four major wireless carriers provide some sort of call blocking feature. Some are free, while others come with an additional fee.

Americans received 5.7 billion robocalls in October, a new record reported by YouMail. The new all-time record shows robocalls are still a increasing problem.

Tips for avoiding Robocalls:

Don’t answer calls from unknown or blocked numbers.

Scammers can choose from a list of phone numbers to be displayed when they call you using VoIP, so many robocalls will appear as if they are coming from your local area code.

If you answer a robocall by mistake, do not answer “yes” or push any numbers when asked to. This lets the scammer know your number is real, and then can sell your number to other scammers.

Never give any personal information, bank account, social security number, passwords, or other identifying information to a call you receive.

If the caller says they are from a company you do business with like your bank, hang up and call that business back from the information you have from them.

To block legitimate telemarketer calls, register for the National Do Not Call list. This will not stop scammers, but reputable companies selling products adhere to this list.

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Posted by Charles Wright