Sunday March 05, 2017

FCC Chair Wants Carriers to Block Robocalls from Spoofed Numbers

While nobody is ready to give Ajit a break just yet, the FCC Chair has finally made a decision that everyone can agree with: ending unwanted calls. The agency took a step toward eliminating robocalls some years ago, but Caller ID spoofing allowed them to continue. New rules proposed will attempt to prevent this abuse of unassigned or invalid phone numbers. Pai says that there are 2.4 billion robocalls a month, but I can’t remember the last time I actually got one.

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The FCC in 2015 made it clear that voice service providers can offer call blocking tools to customers, but commissioners said at the time that more needed to be done about Caller ID spoofing. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has now scheduled a preliminary vote for March 23 on new rules designed to solve the problem. "One particularly pernicious category of robocalls is spoofed robocallsآ—i.e., robocalls where the caller ID is faked, hiding the caller’s true identity," the proposal says. "Fraudsters bombard consumers’ phones at all hours of the day with spoofed robocalls, which in some cases lure consumers into scams (e.g., when a caller claims to be collecting money owed to the Internal Revenue Service) or lead to identity theft."