U.S., Canada Team Up To Fight Robocalls Together

U.S., Canada Team Up To Fight Robocalls Together

If you didn’t have much to do during the mid-’90s, you may remember a CBS show called Due South about the unlikely crimefighting duo (is there ever a show about a likely crimefighting duo?) of Constable Benton Fraser of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Chicago Detective Raymond Vecchio (until he had to go deep undercover and was replaced by not-quite-lookalike Det. Stanley Kowalski). Today’s announcement from regulators in the U.S. and Canada is exactly like that show, except it’s about robocalls, and is really nothing at all like that show. [More]

Matt Reinbold

FCC: Don’t Be Fooled By Callers Posing As Utility Employees Demanding Payment

We’ve heard about scammers who call up consumers and pretend to be utility company workers, demanding immediate payment. And as we head into the winter, when many people might be endangered by an interruption in heat, the Federal Communications Commission is warning folks to be especially wary of such calls. [More]

After 60 Days, What Has The “Robocall Strike Force” Accomplished?

After 60 Days, What Has The “Robocall Strike Force” Accomplished?

Two months ago, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson accepted the challenge of FCC Chair Tom Wheeler to head up an industry-led “Strike Force” to finally do something meaningful to curb unwanted, often illegal, robocalls, and to give consumers free tools they can use to try to block these calls. The team was given 60 days to get this ship headed in the right direction, and now that time has passed a verdict is in: Much was accomplished, but consumers still don’t have the tools they need. [More]

Scott W. Vincent

Listen To This Creepy Robocall & See Why 750K People Want Free Robo-Blocking Tools

As if auto-dialed, pre-recorded robocalls weren’t bad enough, scammers are now blasting out robocalls that use poorly synthesized text-to-talk programs in an effort to try to frighten people into thinking they are being sued. [More]

George Redgrave

iOS 10 Will Allow Nomorobo & Other Call Blockers To Work On iPhones

Most robocall blocking software and hardware has focused on stopping unwanted calls to landline phones, and especially landlines connected over the internet. That’s all well and good, but a growing number of Americans are now cellphone-only, meaning many millions of us still have to face these annoying calls. When Apple rolls out iOS 10 — the latest update to its mobile operating system — this week, it should open the door to a spate of new robo-blockers for your iPhone. [More]

FCC’s Robocall Strike Force Kicks Into Action Today

FCC’s Robocall Strike Force Kicks Into Action Today

Last month, after FCC Chair Tom Wheeler called on the telecom industry to finally do something about the nuisance of pre-recorded, auto-dialed robocalls, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson agreed to head up a joint private-public Robocall Strike Force tasked with actually doing something about these calls. Today, this elite squad of telephonic titans is meeting for the first time. [More]

What You Need To Know About New Rules Allowing Debt Collection Robocalls From Feds

Joe M. O'Connell

If you ask any American to name the things they love the most, they are sure to reply, “debt collectors, intrusive pre-recorded phone calls, and the federal government!” So today — under orders to do so from a piece of rushed, tacked-on legislation — the Federal Communications Commission released its final rules allowing the federal government and some of its contractors to make debt-collection robocalls to wireless lines. [More]

Petition Calls On FCC To Rethink Ruling Giving All Govt. Contractors Green Light To Make Robocalls

Dan Coulter

Earlier this month, the FCC released a controversial ruling, concluding that the law allowed the federal government — and all contractors working for the government — to place prerecorded/auto-dialed robocalls to consumers, so long as the calls are made for official government business. Today, a number of consumer advocates have officially petitioned the FCC to rethink its position and close this loophole. [More]

AT&T CEO Says He Will Head Up Anti-Robocall “Strike Force”

AT&T CEO Says He Will Head Up Anti-Robocall “Strike Force”

HerArt She Loves

FCC To Phone Companies: Offer Free Robocall Blockers To Customers

Even though the Federal Communications Commission has repeatedly said that wireless and landline phone providers are allowed to offer robocall-blocking services to their customers, some carriers have continued to incorrectly insist — and provide misinformation to consumers — that they simply don’t have the authority to deploy this technology. In an effort to make things clear once and for all, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has sent letters to these companies that there are no regulatory roadblocks stopping them from helping their customers stop annoying — often illegal — automated and prerecorded robocalls. [More]

AT&T Says It Hates Robocalls Too; Still Not Giving Most Customers A Way To Block Them

Mike Mozart

AT&T CEO Randall “Dandy Randy” Stephenson has inaccurately claimed that his company can’t proactively block robocalls because it first needs permission from the FCC, and AT&T employees have more than a dozen different — sometimes bizarre — explanations for why the telecom giant has done nothing to rein in these unwanted, pre-recorded and auto-dialed calls. Now AT&T is claiming it is “working hard” to solve the problem, but that hard work does not involve providing a method for most customers to actually block these unwanted calls. [More]

inajeep

FCC Confirms: Entire U.S. Government Allowed To Place Annoying Robocalls

Last fall, Congress passed — and the President signed — an emergency budget bill that opened up a loophole that allows federal agencies, and private companies working on the government’s behalf, to make debt collection robocalls. However, a recently released ruling from the Federal Communications Commissions makes it clear that the entire U.S. government is exempt from rules limiting the use of robocalls to American consumers, so long at it involves government business. [More]

14 Excuses AT&T Gave Customers For Not Blocking Robocalls

jetsetpress

A few weeks back, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson inaccurately claimed that his company can’t offer free robocall-blocking technology because it needs permission from the FCC first. With that explanation debunked, a number of AT&T customers tried to give Darth Randy their permission to install these call-blocking services. As you might expect, the responses from AT&T were a mixed bag of fictions and excuses. [More]

Jenn and Tony Bot

Nomorobo Announces $5/Month Robocall-Blocking App For Mobile Phones

If you’re plagued with marketing robocalls on your Android or iOS mobile phone, some relief might be coming soon. This afternoon, the makers of call filter Nomorobo announced that they’re introducing a mobile app for the two dominant smartphone operating systems to block robocalls. The bad news: it’s not free to users. [More]

Jenn and Tony Bot

Feds Shut Down Florida-Based Debt-Relief Robocall Scammers

A federal court has issued a restraining order against a network of Florida-based robocallers who bilked more than $15.6 million from victims through the use of auto-dialed, prerecorded scam calls pitching bogus credit card rate reduction under the generic guise “Bank Card Services” or “Credit Assistance Program.” [More]

Anti-Robocall “ROBOCOP Act” Gets New Life In Senate

Anti-Robocall “ROBOCOP Act” Gets New Life In Senate

Two months ago, Rep. Jackie Speier (CA) introduced the ROBOCOP Act, a bill that would compel phone service providers to finally make it easier for customers to block automated and prerecorded robocalls. With that bill sitting idly in committee — and executives like AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson incorrectly claiming they need permission to deploy robo-blockers — maybe it’s time for ROBOCOP 2: The Senate Version. [More]

C x 2

AT&T CEO Says He Can’t Deploy Robocall Blockers Without FCC Approval. He’s Wrong

On his personal phone line, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson blocks unwanted, pre-recorded and auto-dialed robocalls. So why is Darth Randy not making this technology available for all of his customers? He claims it’s because he needs the FCC’s permission to do so, but the FCC says that just isn’t so. [More]

Here’s How To Tell The FCC How You Feel About New Debt Collection Robocall Loophole

Dan Coulter

Now that the government has carved out a loophole allowing it to place automated and/or pre-recorded robocalls to consumers to collect any debts owed to the federal government, the FCC is trying to come up with robocall rules that aren’t entirely awful. Consumers have a short window of time to chime in on these rules, so here’s how to share your feelings with the FCC. [More]