The FCC now has rules in place to compel wireless carriers to start blocking domestic robocallers on a systematic basis. Next up, chairman Ajit Pai is gearing up to tackle number spoofers, robotexting, and foreign robocallers by proposing new rules that will be voted on and, likely, enacted at the commission's August open meeting.
The rules simply would empower the FCC to enforce laws already passed by Congress: the Truth in Caller ID Act from 2009, and the FCC's reauthorization bill last year. The former piece of legislation made the act of scamming people by phone using a faked or "spoofed" number an offense with potential civil and criminal penalties. The latter bill amended the scope of the previous law to include scams by text, any foreign-based offenders, and uncommon voice calls such as one-way interconnected VoIP calls — but these classifications have yet to be ratified by the FCC.
Pai cites support from more than 40 state attorneys general as part of the motivation to push for the rules, which will be on the voting agenda when the commission next meets on August 1.
The FTC recently announced a major enforcement initiative against robocallers done in conjunction with the Department of Justice and local law enforcement which resulted in 94 actions against various scammers.