If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it’s a robocall. Americans have seen a significant increase in the number of illegal robocalls because internet-powered phone systems have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world, and to hide from law enforcement by displaying fake caller ID information.
To date, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC ) has brought more than a hundred lawsuits against more than 600 companies and individuals responsible for billions of illegal robocalls and other Do Not Call violations.
The FTC also is leading several initiatives to develop technology-based solutions. Those initiatives include a series of robocall contests that challenge tech gurus to design tools that block robocalls and help investigators track down and stop robocallers. The FTC also is encouraging industry efforts to combat caller ID spoofing. Here’s the FTC’s game plan to combat robocalls:
- continue aggressive law enforcement
- build better tools for investigating robocalls
- coordinate with law enforcement, industry, and other stakeholders
- stimulate and pursue technological solutions.
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- Ask students how they or their families respond to robocalls. Has the number of robocalls increased in recent months? If so, what might be the reasons?
- Ask students to make a list of actions to take in combating robocalls. Share the list with other students.
- Should you consider reducing unwanted sales calls by submitting your phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry?
- Why doesn’t the National Do Not Call Registry stop robocalls?
- Are robocalls legal? What kinds of robocalls are allowed without your permission?
- How can you manage to get fewer robocalls?