Robo-Callers to be Fined by FCC, But It Won’t Stop Them


ILLUSTRATION: Robocall Frustration

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing significant fines in two cases against companies or persons involved in robocalls, those automated phone calls that have become the scourge of anyone who owns a phone today.

An Arizona company accused of making more than two million calls is facing a potential $37.5 million dollar fine, some of the calls coming from unassigned numbers and some from burner phones over a 14-month period.  A telemarketer selling insurance made 21 million calls and is looking at an $82 million fine.

It will probably not make a dent in the number of calls you’re receiving.  “I think enforcement efforts are important, but many of these robocalls are coming from scammers that are located overseas and are difficult to track down and have already spent all of their ill-gotten gains,” says Maureen Mahoney, a Policy Fellow with Consumers Union, the advocacy brank of Consumer Reports.

The FCC says their move is the first of its kind but have not indicated when they will move forward with legal action.

Mahoney thinks the federal agency is targeting the wrong player, and says it’s going to be up to phone carrier services to step up to the plate and confront the robocalls epidemic.  “We think it’s important they require the phone company to offer to consumers free technology that will automatically identify and stop robocalls before they reach the consumer.”

She suggests contact your phone service provider and see is they are offering an services that may protect you.


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