Do you agree that robocalls are a public nuisance? If so, I have a bit of good news. The Supreme Court just upheld a 1991 law that prohibits nearly all non-emergency robocalls to cellphones without the consumer’s consent.
The Supreme Court struck down a provision that allowed robocalls to go out to millions of consumers, who have loans that are guaranteed by the Federal Government. Therefore, consumers who have a government-backed mortgage or a federal student loan will no longer be harassed by debt collectors, if their payment becomes delinquent.
This loophole allowing debt collectors to robocall consumers, without their consent, was originally slipped into a 2015 budget bill. According to an announcement from Consumer Reports, “The Supreme Court has now ruled that those collecting debt, on behalf of the federal government, cannot get preferential treatment when it comes to robocalling.” You can read more about this new ruling here
On another front, consumers will hopefully benefit from an anti-robocall bill that Congress passed in December 2019. The bill requires phone companies to help stop ‘spoofed’ scam calls before they reach your phone. Telecommunications companies were given the authority to use technology to proactively identify and block robocalls. However, the phone companies have until June 2021 to comply.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stepped-up enforcement power to levy heavy penalties and fines against robocall violators.
MOST ROBOCALLS ARE ILLEGAL
Robocalls are automated phone messages that provide a call back number or ask you to press a number on your phone, to be connected to someone. Don’t take the bait! Never press any numbers and never call them back, no matter how urgent the message sounds!
Robocallers use internet technology referred to as ‘spoofing’ to hide their true location. Spoofed calls are numbers that can mimic your bank, the IRS, or even your own phone number.
When these calls are placed, the recipient’s Caller ID displays whatever phone number the robocaller wants you to see on your Caller ID. It’s best to just let unknown callers go to voicemail. If you happen to pick up the phone, just hang up!
Yes indeed, robocalls are a public nuisance, but I’m optimistic that by next summer, we should see a swift decline in robocalls. Fingers crossed!
Read a prior Article I wrote about Robocall Scams
Here’s another prior article I wrote about the new bill regarding Robocalls