New FCC Rules Target International Robocallers

first_imgStay on target The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote on yet another batch of robocall rules.Chairman Ajit Pai this week proposed a ban on malicious caller ID spoofing of text messages and international calls.“Scammers often robocall us from overseas, and when they do, they typically spoof their numbers to try and trick consumers,” Pai said in a statement.So while your screen may display a seemingly legitimate phone number (complete with familiar local area code), the phone call could be coming from anywhere in the world.“Call center fraudsters often pretend to be calling from trusted organizations and use pressure tactics to steal from Americans,” Pai added.Since 2009, the Truth in Caller ID Act has prohibited the transmission of misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value.But the legislation does not currently cover text messaging or international calls. And Pai wants to change that.If adopted in August, his new rules would extend constraints to also protect SMS, calls originating outside the US to recipients inside the country, and one-way interconnected VoIP contact.The FCC has already received more than 35,000 complaints about caller ID spoofing in the first six months of the year. New rules would help the agency crack down on bad actors seeking unsuspecting victims overseas.“We must attack this problem with every tool we have,” Pai said. “With these new rules, we’ll close the loopholes that hamstring law enforcement when they try to pursue international scammers and scammers using text messaging.”It’s worth noting that there are some legal uses of spoofing. Like when a doctor calls a patient from their personal phone, but displays the office number. Or if a business shows its toll-free call-back number.Last month, the FCC voted to empower carriers to block unwanted calls—as long as customers are informed and can opt out.While some phone companies already offer call-blocking tools on an opt-in basis, the June ruling clarifies that they can provide them as the default, meaning everyone will benefit.consumers also have the option to sign up for even tougher services, including blocking calls from any number not on their digital contact list or other “white lists.”More on Geek.com:FTC, Law Enforcement ‘Call It Quits’ On RobocallersFCC: Don’t Be Fooled By ‘One Ring’ Robocall ScamFTC Shutters Four Groups Responsible For Billions of Illegal Robocalls FTC, Law Enforcement ‘Call It Quits’ On RobocallersFCC Empowers Carriers to ‘Aggressively Block’ Robocalls last_img

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