NewsOn Your Side

Actions

Progress being made on robocalls, officials want faster compliance from all cell carriers

Attorneys general asking FCC for all carriers to use anti-robocall tech sooner
Progress being made on robocalls, officials want faster compliance from all cell carriers
Posted at 5:00 AM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 11:47:39-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — It's still one of the top complaints coming into the Colorado Attorney General's Office. In fact, people in our state have reported more than 50,000 unwanted calls to the FTC since the start of the year. While progress is being made to identify robocalls, consumer protection advocates say more action is needed.

According to the experts at RoboKiller, in July each of us got on average 21 spam calls. While extremely annoying and even dangerous with the potential for scams, data analysts say overall robocalls nationally are down 3% from June.

This reflects a successful first month of the FCC's new anti-caller ID spoofing framework, STIR/SHAKEN, now required to be put into place by the major cell phone providers. This led to 145 million fewer spoofed spam calls in July than in previous months of 2021.

"Now that that's kind of been out in the wild for the first 30 days we are seeing signs this has started to make a slow but sure impact in reducing spam calls and also reducing caller I-D spoofing that a lot of spammers use to trick you into answering the phone," said VP of RoboKiller Giulia Porter.

But even in the midst of progress some calls are still getting through unchecked. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser tells News5 smaller phone companies were given an extension until June 2023 to implement the robocall prevention technology and he has joined law enforcement leaders in every state calling for that deadline to be moved up.

"That creates a loophole because if you can't source where a call is coming from you can't validate if it's a real call or not. That's what's an issue, some companies delaying deploying this technology hurts the rest of us," said Weiser.

While we might begin to see some relief from robocalls, fraudsters appear to just be shifting to another way to get into our phones. This time through spam text messages. According to RoboKiller Americans are on track to receive more than 86 billion spam texts in 2021, a 55% increase from 2020.

"Our hope is we can continue to generate more awareness about the spam text problem so this isn't kind of like our Achilles heel," said Porter. "Our hope is long term that some kind of similar or a tag-along framework to STIR/SHAKEN can kind of be followed to stop spam texts before they become such a persistent and prolonged issue like spam calls have."

The bipartisan and nationwide coalition of attorneys general is asking the FCC to require the remaining smaller cell companies to come into robocall compliance as soon as possible and no later than June 30, 2022.

To report robocalls and suspected scam calls visit:
https://stopfraudcolorado.gov/