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Newsletter: Your robocall future

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Ramon Ramirez


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Apr 5, 2022   Updated on Apr 13, 2022, 12:55 pm CDT

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Hello fellow citizens of the internet! Ramon here, filling in for Andrew. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider.

Quick reminder that Andrew is extremely offline today and tomorrow, road-tripping through the heart of America to speak to salt-of-the-earth folks across its diners and dance halls. Or, I think he had a relative’s wedding. Don’t quote me on that.

He did leave me a column about robocalls to copy-and-paste here from a Google Doc. I took out the line about how Olivia Rodrigo was a shoo-in for album of the year at the Grammys.

Let’s continue reading together!

— R.R.


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In Body Image
A woman looking frustrated by a robocall or scam message on her phone.

The FCC is trying to stop the robocall hell we all live in

Everyone’s very familiar with this scenario: Your phone starts ringing, you look down and see a number that has a familiar area code, you pick it up and some robotic voice starts talking to you about your car’s extended warranty. You hang up, frustrated that you’ve been on the receiving end of yet another robocall

America is extremely divided right now, but if there is one thing most people could agree on, it’s that everyone hates robocalls. In fact, complaints to the government about robocalls skyrocketed in 2021

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has made combating robocalls a major tentpole of the agency’s agenda since she took over as chair. 

The Daily Dot has covered a number of their anti-robocall initiatives. The agency set a deadline for voice providers to implement technology that allows phone companies to verify caller ID information and a caller’s number. It fined telemarketers $225 million for making 1 billion robocalls. It has sent cease-and-desist letters to two companies demanding that they stop allowing illegal robocall campaigns to be carried out on their networks. It’s even said it wants to crack down on annoying spam texts flooding your phone.

So it shouldn’t come as a shock that the FCC is doing even more to stop robocallers. 

The agency recently announced that seven more states and district attorneys general have partnered with it for robocall investigations, bringing the overall amount of state-federal partnerships to 22. The arrangement allows for the FCC and states to “establish critical information sharing” to “investigate spoofing and robocalls scam campaigns,” the FCC said.

“The FCC and these state leaders share a common enemy: robocall scammers targeting consumers and businesses around the country,” Rosenworcel said in a statement. “My team’s commitment to protecting consumers fits hand-in-glove with state Attorneys General’s ongoing efforts to combat these scams. We share a goal—to protect consumers—and with these agreements, we can also share the tools needed to achieve it.”

The announcement came just a month after the FCC announced that it proposed its largest illegal robocall fine ever—$45 million—against a telemarketing company that was offering health insurance and “trying to take advantage of COVID-19 anxiety anytime anyone answered the phone,” Rosenworcel said

Hopefully all this pressure will stem the tide of your phone buzzing everyday with some scammer on the other end of the line. 

Andrew Wyrich

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*First Published: Apr 5, 2022, 12:00 pm CDT