Stopping Unwanted Robocalls
Robocalls are an ongoing topic of conversation in Nebraska, leaving consumers wondering what they can do to stop this annoyance.
Stopping illegal robocalls has been deemed a top consumer protection priority by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Despite protections such as the Do Not Call Registry, unwanted calls have been a top source of complaints to the FCC for years. Many of these calls have “spoofed” or misleading caller ID information. When committed with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value, “spoofing” is illegal under the Truth in Caller ID Act. Those who ignore this law can face penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), passed by Congress in 1991, also restricts the making of unwanted calls including telemarketing and robocalls. The FCC website contains resources and good information for consumers to utilize as a means of stopping unwanted calls, including links to call blocking resources provided by both wireless carriers and landline service providers.
Consumers are urged to
- Register their phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, which protects both landline, and wireless numbers.
- Check with your service provider to see if they offer any advanced tools or apps to block robocalls or features built into your calling device.
- Download and activate a robocalls blocking app.
- Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
- If a number is spoofed, just hang up. Interacting with the caller or pressing other buttons may lead to more robocalls.
- Never respond to requests for personal information, such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords or other identifying information in response to an unexpected call.
- Use caution if the caller urges you to take immediate action.
- File a complaint with the FCC Consumer Complaint Center , 1-888-CallFCC (225-5322).
For more information about the Do Not Call Registry and other tips on how to protect against common scams, consumers should visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection website or call 800-727-6432 or 402-471-2682.