Anyone who has a phone is likely to have gotten a robocall at least once in their life…and likely a lot more often than that! They are those annoying calls with a pre-recorded voice and they are usually used for telemarketing purposes.
The U.S. government and leading tech companies have taken steps to limit the amount of robocalls consumers get, but there are also things you can do to minimize robocalls in your life. This article will examine those options.
What is the Traced Act?
The Traced Act is a bipartisan piece of legislation recently passed by congress. It gives government and law enforcement agencies the ability to minimize robocalls by targeting perpetrators.
The Traced Act extends the statute of limitations for law enforcement agents to go after perpetrators, increases penalties, and requires phone companies make sure calls are authentic and that the number callers are calling from is real.
The FCC has also done its part by passing a proposal that gives carriers the permission to block spam calls more aggressively.
Tech companies are also working to combat robocalls. Their SHAKEN/STIR technology can be used by wireless carriers to identify and block spam calls within their networks and between phone providers. Apple added a feature to iOS 13 that blocks unknown callers completely. Google introduced a call screen feature that will route unknown calls to Google Assistant before your phone even rings.
While all of these are positive moves that will eventually reduce spam calls, consumers can not expect to see changes overnight. Both the Traced Act and the FCC proposal will need time to take effect across all agencies.
Consumers should also keep in mind that not all calls count as illegal. Calls from fake companies that make fake claims will be blocked, but calls from political campaigns, debt collectors and charities are all permissible.
How You Can Take Action
It may be some time before the FCC’s proposal and the Traced Act go into full effect, but in the meantime, there are steps you can take to minimize the amount of robocalls you are getting. Here are some actions that are recommended.
- Don’t answer calls from blocked or unknown numbers. This includes numbers you don’t recognize, even if they are coming from your own area code.
- Don’t answer any questions that can be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
- If someone calls you and says they are calling from a certain company, don’t take their word for it. Hang up, find their number and call them back yourself.
- If you pick up a call and hear a voice on the other end say, “Hello, can you hear me?” hang up.
- If you pick up a call and are asked to press a number to be connected to a representative hang up. Interacting with a voice prompt will verify your number to spammers and they may give your number to other companies or begin calling your more often.
- Check with your provider to see what kind of spam blocking services they offer. If your provider doesn’t offer a spam blocking feature, or if the feature they offer is too expensive, you can also check with third party apps.
Getting Legal Help for Your Robocalls
If you’re getting robocalls to your cell phone from a legitimate company, tell them clearly they do not have consent to call your cellular phone. If they continue to call, you may have a claim under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA may provide consumers damages up to $1,500 per call! If you’re getting unauthorized robocalls from a company, contact a consumer attorney today.
In some cases, consumers may begin getting robocalls that they feel are excessively annoying, to the point where it begins to affect their life. If this happens to you, you may decide to consult a lawyer to find out more about your rights.
If you are looking for a lawyer in the state of Louisiana, Sam Ford of Alexander Shunnarah Personal Injury Attorneys can help. SVHC lawyers ahve years of experience in the field of consumer protection and can help you get relief.
Robocalls can get annoying, but fortunately, steps are being taken to prevent them from interfering with your life. Good luck keeping them far from your phone.