TRACED Act fights robocalls

A new law called the TRACED Act aims to stop those pesky robocalls that torment so many of us on a daily basis. In fact, it’s estimated that the majority of calls to home phones are annoying robocalls, many of them scams.  In 2018 alone 48 billion robocalls targeted Americans and we lost almost $10 billion dollars to scammers.

It’s something Republicans, Democrats, and the President all managed to agree on. The bill passed the House and Senate easily and was signed into law by the President.

The TRACED Act requires phone companies to provide spam filters for calls similar to those applied to email to help eliminate phone robocalls. It applies STIR/SHAKEN technology to help weed out call spoofing (spoofing is where scammers generate a fake caller ID to impersonate a legitimate number.)

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The caller ID for your phone shows something like SPAM? or Potential Spam as the  identification when a possible scam caller attempts to contact you. Like any technology, it’s not perfect but it can help weed out bad actors.  Major providers like AT&T and Verizon have already rolled out the technology but many smaller, rural phone companies don’t have the funds or technology in place yet to make it happen.

The law also makes it easier for the FCC to go after scammers and to penalize carriers that knowing permit calls to come through from scammers.  Now since the FCC’s power is limited to the United States, this doesn’t give them the ability to go after the millions and millions of robocalls that come from overseas, but it is a good start towards curbing the problem.

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