While even one unwanted call is bad, there indeed is some good news in this years-long effort by regulators and lawmakers to fight one of American conssmers’ biggest problems:
The number of voice providers that have installed the preferred robocall-blocking technology has nearly quadrupled since last year, according to U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s new analysis of the Federal Communications Commission’s robocall database.
Scam robocalls nationwide have declined by about 47 percent since last June, according to YouMail, one of the largest robocall- and robotext-blocking companies in the United States.
More cellphone and home phone companies are filtering calls and offering customers new services such as flagging suspicious calls to give the receiver the choice of answering, sending them to voicemail or blocking them.
Regulators are requiring phone companies that serve as “gateway” providers – which often funnel scam calls from overseas – to do more to block them.
Regulators are requiring smaller phone providers, which didn’t have to follow the robocall technology rules last year, to now comply just like large companies. All 50 attorneys general last year pushed the FCC to crack down on small companies, which originally had exemptions until June 2023, because scam callers were leveraging the income-hungry small providers to bypass technology installed by large companies.
- The FCC has started partnering with state attorneys general on robocall investigations, sharing information and using the criminal enforcement powers of states, which often can respond more nimbly. Just two weeks ago, the FCC and the Ohio attorney general worked together to go after one robocall operation that they allege is responsible for 8 billion illegal robocalls since 2018, most about auto warranties.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken enforcement actions against two companies on grounds they didn’t install the required Caller ID technology last year. It’s only two out of hundreds who may not be complying, but it’s a step.
Read our full report with findings, recommendations
and tips for consumers.