Thanks to the FCC, those pesky robocalls warning you that the warranty on your vehicle is about to expire may soon become a thing of the past.
On Thursday, the FCC released a statement announcing that it has ordered all U.S. phone service carriers to block these robocalls, which have been traced to 13 individuals and six companies mainly operating out of Texas and California.
According to the statement, these 19 entities are responsible for sending more than eight billion illegal robocalls since 2018, and now, the FCC says, telecom companies are responsible for stopping them. Though the FCC had drawn attention to the robocall issue previously, the agency has now named names so that service providers will have all the information they need to make the calls stop.
“We are not going to tolerate robocall scammers or those that help make their scams possible," said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. "Consumers are out of patience and I’m right there with them."
If you've been the recipient of one or more of these calls, you know that most of them follow a similar script: a person claims that the company he or she represents has been trying to get a hold of you and that the warranty on your car has expired or is about to expire. Sometimes, this voice furnishes you with some specific information about you or your vehicle to enhance the credibility of the claim. The number that appears on Caller ID is often a local number, to lessen your suspicions and increase the chances that you'll answer.
The FCC said that it has received more complaints about these robocalls than any other issue in the past two years. It also stated that 41 state governments have participated in the investigation into the calls, as have the District of Columbia and Guam. The attorney general for the state of Ohio, Dave Yost, has filed a lawsuit against several robocalling entities as well.
“Our lives are plagued by robocalls like a swarm of flies,” Yost said in a statement. “This particular operation prompted more than 1,600 unwanted-call complaints to my office. It’s time to get out the fly swatter.”
Telecom companies that disregard the FCC order may soon be held liable if the robocalls continue. Acting FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan A. Egal said that "the Enforcement Bureau will closely monitor voice service providers’ compliance with this order and take appropriate enforcement action as necessary."