Why robocalls have taken over your phone

By 2009, Chris Hughson was bored. Real estate agents in the Portland area did not receive spam and phone calls (10 times a day). He speculated that his phone number made some lists, but he was not sure what he could do. He said, "There must be a way to stop the strike."

Hughson, who studied law but never implemented it, filed dozens of lawsuits under the Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Do not Call Registry Takes the caller to court while calling the Registry. Hughson solves the case for what he should not disclose, but theoretically TCPA allows the consumer to sue for $ 1,500 per violation. When there are 10 calls or text messages per day, the agreement can be merged quickly.

Hughson is already in a system that has frustrated many Americans. Washington has attempted several tactics to establish the Do Not Call Registry in 2003 from passing through TCPA in 1991 to reduce the flow of automated calls. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) charges millions of dollars in fines for individual robo colors on a regular basis. But the call keeps coming, and the problem is to leave the choice of targets like Hughson alone and solve the problem yourself.

Researchers say phone calls have increased significantly in recent years. One private call-blocking application provider handles approximately 147 million per day in the United States, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the FCC have seen significant increases in consumer complaints over the last few years. Ian Barlow, FTC's Do not Call Program Coordinator, said that The Verge is processing an average of about 500,000 complaints per month.

The problem is the ease of becoming a robocaller. If you have a little technical skill, you can download related software and run your own system. Barlow says, "This technology is widely available." Basically there is no barriers to entry into this market. "

The cost of doing business with that technology is very low. Callers pay only about 1 cent per minute You can prevent the company from running the system because there are no immediate financial barriers. Even if only a small percentage of the caller responds positively to the message of the caller, Barlow says, "You can dial any DC. I do not know, $ 5,000 or $ 10,000. Of course, there are legal restrictions on how callers work. All fraud is prohibited, and telemarketing calls from prerecorded or artificial voice generally require explicit consent from the recipient of the call.

The law enforcement agency, FTC, filed lawsuits under state and federal laws, including TCPA. Barlow pointed out over 100 lawsuits the agency has filed against callers, and he noted that the agency also promoted products such as apps that consumers could use to block calls. Nevertheless, many people continue to call. Prohibiting calls Although the registry was designed to prevent preemptive attacks, marketers can not prevent them from being listed if they break the rules already.

Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, said other institutions responsible for dealing with robocalls are the cornerstones of his tenure. As a primary measure, the agency recently imposed a fine of $ 82 million on the sender. According to the agency, marketers used spoofing technology to forge caller ID and then sent 21 million calls to sell health insurance. The FCC said the FDA is one of the FCC's biggest losses. (Marketers denied this agency's wrongdoing.)

In the case of Pai, the penalty was an example of agency crackdown on the Rofa Call threat. Under Pai's leadership, agencies have promoted rules that allow carriers to block calls to fraudulent phone numbers because they are not used for outgoing calls or can not make outgoing calls. Pai also supported a phone authentication "framework" for carriers that could reduce the number of spoofed calls that could steal a small number of numbers from the phone number first to give the caller to the neighbor. But this week, Pai said in a statement, "[carriers] urged to be behind."

Presiding at the FCC, which is still pursuing deregulation, Pai is meeting with other tools to help consumers. Pai has argued that TCPA is being used extensively and overly suing the customer to provide a way to legitimately fight the sender. However, consumer advocates have argued that strong rules under TCPA are an important safeguard.

This issue has recently rushed. The FCC has considered how best to define the concept of an "auto-dialing system" and its definition is now "in the air," says Margot Saunders, a senior attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. Potentially making it more difficult for consumers to make legitimate calls. In the federal courts of the past year, exactly what has been questioned about the system to which the definition applies is that the FCC has begun to gather opinions on what the new definition will look like. I actually opened the door to the system that is more beneficial to the caller. They are pushing a more restrictive definition that allows them to make more calls.

The FCC did not respond to requests for comment, but Pai appears to be able to rethink the rules. After the federal court destroyed the broader definition earlier this year, he praised the verdict in the statement, and the previous Democratic administration decried the regulatory policy. "The FCC should target bad actors who assault Americans with illegal robocalls, rather than enter regulatory agencies for hundreds of millions of American consumers calling or text messaging," he said.

But even Hughson, who uses punishment for those calling, was not safe. It is difficult to see the potential effect, but changes to justice can hinder future litigation. The phone keeps coming out year after year and many people get their phone number from their area code. I recently received a "free" vacation and a Walmart gift card. "I think so this morning," he says.

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