Blog 35 U.S states have finally had enough of annoying robocalls
Robert Siciliano October 23, 2018

35 U.S states have finally had enough of annoying robocalls

We all get those annoying ‘spoofed’ robocalls, and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is actually making it pretty easy for them to get through. Because of this, there are currently 35 states that are saying “enough is enough.”

And who can blame them? After all, while writing this, I just ignored a robocaller who spoofed a local phone number, and chances are, many of you reading this will experience a pesky robocall before you’ve finished the article. 

Last year, the FCC allowed voice cellphone providers to block calls coming from robocallers, but the robocalling companies have gotten smart; they have simply evolved the way they do things.

One of the most common methods that robocallers use is called “spoofing.” Basically, they call someone and “spoof” the number to appear to be something else. It might be a number that you recognize, or one that you think is important. They even go as far to use the same area code as your local area, so you are more likely to answer. Some people even report that their OWN numbers are appearing on their caller ID.

There is plenty that the FCC can do to stop this, such as by authenticating real calls and identifying the illegally spoofed calls. The problem, however, is that almost anyone can be a robocaller, and all it takes is a computer, some software, and a connection to the internet. There is also the concern from cellphone providers—specifically T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T— that there could be some “false positives,” meaning some legit calls end up getting blocked.

There is, however, a proposal that would limit the liability of these carriers that adopt new protocols.

One company, Numericle, which has products available to help businesses make marketing calls without getting blocked, are urging the FCC to think a bit more about this. The company says that these new protocols could actually block calls that are currently legal, such as the marketing calls that Numeracle’s software creates.

In 2017 alone, the attorneys general from the 35 states mentioned above, estimate that there were more than 30 billion robocalls made in the U.S. All of them were illegal. They have now signed a formal request telling the FCC to finally do something about it and build upon the 2017 Call Blocking Order that allows service providers to “use new technology to detect and block illegal spoofed calls,” even if they’re coming from numbers that seem legitimate.

These calls are a nuisance, and they can cause people to innocently fall for scams. Last month, the FCC issued fines topping $120 million, but clearly more action is needed given the severity of the problem.

Unfortunately, until something more is done, it is very likely that these unwanted calls will continue to happen. Check out our blog to learn what you can do to stop robocalls once and for all. And if you’re sick of spammers, hackers, and general bad guys on the web, protect your devices by downloading Hotspot Shield for free today.

robocallers
Robert Siciliano
About Robert Siciliano

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft expert consultant to Hotspot Shield. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. FInd Robert Siciliano on Google+

View all posts by Robert Siciliano
Subscribe to our newsletter

Become a Hotspot Shield insider to get the latest news, updates, and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.