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Robocalls Won't End With Trump's Signature

Enforcement of new law won't be easy, but free call-blocking services are coming

(Newser) - An anti-robocall measure signed into law Monday by President Trump should help reduce the torrent of unwanted calls promising lower interest rates or pretending to be the IRS, though it won't make all such calls disappear, reports the AP . Under federal law, it's already illegal to fake numbers... More »

Robocall Crackdown Passes, Raising Fines to $10K Per Ring

Legislation to help consumers know they're getting a spam call

(Newser) - Americans have received 54 billion spam calls this year — total, though it may seem like we each got that many. That number could drop under legislation that cleared Congress on Thursday, raising potential fines for robocallers to $10,000 per call. Major carriers also will have to start using... More »

Major Carriers Pledge Action on Robocalls

Americans are getting nearly 5B of them a month

(Newser) - Major phone companies have pledged to do more to fight robocalls plaguing Americans, the country's state attorneys general say. It's the latest step from government and industry to combat the growing problem, the AP reports. Americans get nearly 5 billion automated calls from scammers, telemarketers, debt collectors, and... More »

FCC Makes Big Move on Robocalls

Votes to give phone companies the right to block them without customer permission

(Newser) - Federal regulators voted Thursday to give phone companies the right to block unwanted calls without getting customers' permission first, the AP reports. The Federal Communications Commission's move could make call-blocking widespread and help consumers dodge annoying robocalls, which have exploded into a problem that pesters Americans on the level... More »

Plagued by Robocalls? Help May Be Coming

The volume of calls is now at about 5B a month

(Newser) - New measures by US regulators could help thwart some of the billions of robocalls received across America. The FCC said Wednesday that it will vote in June on whether to let wireless carriers block spam calls by default, which should mean that more spam calls are blocked. Right now, customers... More »

Don't Return Robocalls, FCC Warns

Scam profits from toll charges

(Newser) - Returning a robocall can cost money. The FCC has warned consumers not to fall for a scam involving calls that ring once. The idea is to get people to call back, UPI reports, which can incur a toll charge like the one for calling a 900 number. That profits the... More »

Robocallers Get a Little Payback

FTC shuts down and fines 4 big operations

(Newser) - The FTC took a step this week in cracking down on the widespread—and annoying—problem of illegally spamming robocalls. The agency stopped and fined four prolific robospamming operations, which had been using automatic dialers to flood customers with billions of predatory calls, reports Gizmodo . The FTC announced that Higher... More »

John Oliver Robocalls FCC About Robocalls

HBO host hopes to get commissioners' attention about the problem

(Newser) - John Oliver cannot understand why the FCC won't stop illegal, spammy robocalls, and he unleashed some poetic justice on his HBO show Sunday night. His staff created its own robocall message and began robocalling all five FCC commissioners, including agency chief Ajit Pai, reports Deadline . (You can see the... More »

Report Confirms It: We Get a Lot of Robocalls

Americans got 26.3B of them last year, up from 18B in 2017

(Newser) - If it seems like you're getting a lot more robocalls than you used to—it's because you are, the Washington Post reports. A report released Tuesday by spam-monitoring service Hiya found that Americans received about 26.3 billion robocalls last year. That's an astonishing 46% increase from... More »

That's Not Oprah on Georgia's 'Racist' Robocalls

'Jesus don't like ugly,' former talk show host responds

(Newser) - Oprah Winfrey shared a final message to voters with hours to go before Election Day: "Jesus don't like ugly. And we know what to do about that: Vote." The video message via Instagram came in response to what Winfrey described as "racist robocalls in my name"... More »

Florida Gov's Race Just Hit New Racist Low

Anti-Gillum robocall backed by white supremacist group features jungle music, talk of mud huts

(Newser) - Ron DeSantis swears he meant nothing racist by his "monkey this up" comment, but a new robocall in the Florida gubernatorial race definitely did: Set to the background of jungle music and screeching monkeys, the New York Times reports that the minute-long audio clip begins with a man saying,... More »

How Robocallers Make Money Even When Calls Go Unanswered

It has to do with caller ID

(Newser) - Even if you ignore that annoying robocall, the person behind it might still be making money off the call. It has to do with caller ID services, as the Wall Street Journal explains in a look at the problem. When a call is made, phone companies query caller ID databases... More »

'Spoofing' Robocaller Fined $120M by FCC

It's the commission's biggest-ever fine

(Newser) - The Federal Communications Commission has slapped a notorious robocaller with a fine that works out to around $1.24—for each of roughly 97 million calls made over three months toward the end of 2016. The $120 million fine finalized against Adrian Abramovich Thursday is the biggest in FCC history... More »

'Anti-Semitic' Robocall Notes Roy Moore, Washington Post

'WaPo' denies involvement in bizarre scheme

(Newser) - An apparent robocall claiming to seek dirt on embattled Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore might actually be an attack against the newspaper that aired his dirty laundry. WKRG reports a pastor in Alabama received a voicemail Tuesday from a man claiming to be a Washington Post reporter looking for women... More »

Plug In Your Phone Number, See if Robocallers Owe You

Calls about a cruise could get you up to $900

(Newser) - It's the best kind of revenge against robocallers: money in your pocket. The Miami Herald reports that people who got a call about a cruise may be due $300 to $900 thanks to a class-action lawsuit. To find out if you're eligible, you can plug in your phone... More »

4M People Who Got Call From Huckabee Can Sue

Movie robocall allegedly violated do-not-call rules

(Newser) - A marketing stunt featuring former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee may prove costly for those behind a movie with a war-on-Christmas theme. The Daily Beast reports that a class-action suit has been filed on behalf of the approximately 4 million people who allegedly received a robocall from Huckabee to promote Last ... More »

Man Facing Largest-Ever FCC Fine Over 97M Robocalls

Company accused of duping people by using their own area codes

(Newser) - A man allegedly responsible for millions of illegal telemarketing robocalls may finally be getting his comeuppance in the form of the largest fine ever proposed by the FCC. The agency on Thursday accused Adrian Abramovich of making nearly 97 million robocalls promoting bogus travel deals over the course of three... More »

Bomb Threats Reported at Schools in 18 States

Robocalls believed to be 'swatting' hoaxes

(Newser) - Schools across the nation were hit by a wave of robocall bomb threats Monday, closing buildings and forcing the evacuation of thousands of students, USA Today reports. Elementary, middle, and high schools in at least 18 states were targeted, and security expert Ken Trump says the automated calls seem to... More »

Woman Gets $230K Over Endless Cable Robocalls

Time Warner wouldn't stop, even after she complained

(Newser) - It was surely annoying to Araceli King when Time Warner Cable called her again and again and again—153 times, to be exact—even after the Texas woman complained and asked the company to stop. Well, how's this for payback: A federal judge has just awarded her $229,500... More »

Why You're Still Plagued by Robocalls

And how to deal with them

(Newser) - Why do telemarketers keep pestering you, long after you signed up for the federal "Do Not Call" list? First of all, you're certainly not alone, Consumerist reports: "If this were a disease, it would be an epidemic," says a consumer advocate. The Federal Trade Commission gets... More »

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