The robocall scam prevention effort has gone international as FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Ian Scott.
“Robocall scams are an international problem,” Rosenworcel said in a prepared statement. “People all over the world can be victims of these bad faith campaigns to defraud and trick consumers. And we know that many of these calls cross international borders before entering domestic phone networks. That is why it is critical that we work closely with partners like our colleagues in Canada who share our commitment to fighting robocall scams and unmasking the bad actors behind them. I thank Chairperson Scott and his team for continuing our active and productive cooperative relationship. Together we will continue to make stopping illegal robocalls a top consumer protection priority.”
The FCC has taken several steps in recent months to attempt to sharply reduce the number of illegal robocalls:
- Attorneys General in 22 states and in Washington, D.C. are partnering with the regulator to investigate illegal robocalls. Attorneys General and the FCC inked Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) that establish information sharing and cooperation agreements between the regulator and state robocall law enforcement officials as they investigate spoofing and robocall scam campaigns.
- Rosenworcel has proposed an action that would, if adopted by a vote of the full Commission, require callers to obtain a consumer’s consent before delivering a “ringless voicemail,” a message left in their mailbox without ringing their cell phone. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which protects consumers from unwanted robocalls, prohibits making any non-emergency call using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice to a wireless telephone number without the prior express consent of the called party.
- Last October, the FCC adopted two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR); one that takes aim at the networks that serve as entry points for foreign-originated robocalls and the other of which proposes rules to protect 911 call centers from robocalls.