Much to the ire of Americans, this year has brought with it a massive and upward trending influx of robocalls. In November alone 5.1 billion robocalls were made, up from 2.88 billion in January.
If you’re anything like I am, you find this to be infuriating. Fortunately for us, everyone else does as well. So much so that the vast majority of state Attorneys General have been added to an ever growing brigade of officials that was formed to help put an end to these calls.
Just last month, a bipartisan bill known as Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED) was introduced by US Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and US Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass).
If implemented, TRACED would:
- Broaden the FCC’s ability to levy civil penalties up to $10,000 per call
- Extend the window for taking action (to three years from the time the call is placed)
- Encourage implementation of call authentication and blocking
- “Brings relevant federal agencies and state attorneys general together to address impediments to criminal prosecution of robocallers who intentionally flout laws”
But what can you do today to combat robocalls? If you have a smartphone that operates on Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android, then you have a number of options for fighting back against unwanted calls. Certain smartphone apps can detect, block and in some cases respond amusingly to robocallers.
One popular version of this is Robokiller, which will actually answer calls and play messages designed to keep the callers on the line, and record the confusion for later amusement. Keep in mind, Robokiller is subscription based on costs a few dollars per month.
Another which is free and very highly rated for Android devices is Should I Answer? Apps like this often rely on a database which stores information about which phone numbers are reported to be spam/scams, in addition to analyzing the number itself for characteristics of “spoofing”.
The coalition against robocalls now includes the AGs from every state EXCEPT: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Wyoming.
There’s a good chance however, that the result of this team will be increased federal regulations. So even if your state isn’t dedicating resources to the problem, they’ll still benefit from the solution.
John Rosenbaum is an Orange County Personal Injury attorney with decades of experiences serving the community from his Laguna Hills office. If you are in need of legal advice, contact our offices today and find out what we can do for you.