Avoiding unwanted robocalls is going to get even easier in the future, thanks to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approving new rules to protect consumers. They’re going to allow phone companies to proactively block calls that are likely to be fraudulent because they come from certain types of phone numbers. From the FCC:
As a result of today’s action, voice service providers will be allowed to block calls purporting to be from a phone number placed on a “do not originate” list by the number’s subscriber. They will also be allowed to block calls purporting to be from invalid numbers, like those with area codes that don’t exist, from numbers that have not been assigned to a provider, and from numbers allocated to a provider but not currently in use.To minimize blocking of lawful calls, today’s Report and Order encourages voice service providers that elect to block calls to establish a simple way to identify and fix blocking errors. The rules also prohibit providers from blocking 911 emergency calls.
The FCC receives over 200,000 consumer complaints about unwanted calls – including illegal robocalls. It’s estimated that U.S. consumers got about 2.4 BILLION robocalls per month in 2016, so it’s no surprise that it’s their top complaint each year. Thanks to advancement in technology, it’s cheaper and easier than ever to make robocalls and “spoof” caller ID information.
While these changes won’t stop robocalls completely, these steps are a good start. The FCC hopes that recent big fines will also help deter scammers. In the long run, the FCC is looking to verify that callers are really who they say they are. You could see a “verified” check next to trusted callers in the future, similar to verified accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information on this ruling, visit the FCC’s website.