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The government is finally getting serious about robocalls

Published: Monday, February 04, 2019 @ 8:21 PM

Robocalls, those dreaded telemarketing messages that automatically play when you answer your phone, are the bane of just about every phone user. Now, the government is going to take a good look at robocalls.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers seeking to create the Spam Calls Task Force, which would direct the Attorney General to work with the Federal Communications Commission to come up with a way to stop robocalls.

Ready for robocalls to end? The Spam Calls Task Force is on it

The proposed group is led by U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Florida) along with Matt Cartwright (D-Pennsylvania), Garret Graves (D-Louisiana) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-North Carolina).

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“Night and day, Americans are being inundated by spam calls. It’s more than an annoyance – it’s an invasion of privacy being used to deceive and take advantage of unsuspecting victims,” Crist said in a written statement on the issue.  “Working together across the aisle and across agencies, we can better protect the people from this predatory practice.”

The Spam Calls Task Force would have the next nine months to recommend some action to stop robocalls.

The Spam Calls Task Force has a number of directives, including:

  • Determine if any existing laws would inhibit enforcement of the Telephone Consumer Protections Act, which already covers spam calls.
  • Identify existing policies and programs that improve coordination among relevant agencies, departments and states.
  • Consider if increasing the penalties and fines would deter robocall violators
  • Consider if additional resources would be beneficial, including formal agreements between states, the U.S. government and foreign governments.

Money expert Clark Howard says he follows a simple rule when it comes to robocalls, one that has saved him countless amounts of time and maybe even money.

“Consider following my rule,” the consumer champ says. “It’s a simple rule: If I don’t recognize the number as being from someone I know, I do not answer the call.”

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