The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission today announced two upcoming events aimed at furthering the fight against illegal robocalls and caller ID spoofing. The agencies will co-host a Policy Forum later this month and a Technology Expo in April.
Unwanted calls -- including illegal robocalls, spoofed calls, and telemarketing -- are a major source of complaints to both the FTC and FCC. Under Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the agencies have combated this consumer problem through numerous policy-making efforts and strong enforcement actions.
“Consumers are fed up with illegal robocalls that disturb their privacy and often pitch scams,” said Acting FTC Chairman Ohlhausen. “We’re going to expand our fight against this scourge through initiatives like the upcoming Technology Expo and Policy Forum, which amplify our impact through close coordination with the FCC and other partners.”
“Scam robocalls and deceptive spoofing are real threats to American consumers, and they are the number one consumer complaint at the FCC,” said FCC Chairman Pai. “We’re committed to confronting this problem using every tool we have. I’m pleased to announce these efforts in our continued work with the FTC to protect consumers.”
On March 23, the two agencies will co-host a Policy Forum at FCC headquarters to discuss the regulatory challenges posed by illegal robocalls and what the FTC and FCC are doing to both protect consumers and encourage the development of private-sector solutions. The live video feed and other information related to this event will be available at: www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/2018/03/fighting-scourge-illegal-robocalls.
On April 23, the FTC and FCC will also co-host a Technology Expo for consumers at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery in Washington, D.C. This event will feature technologies, devices, and applications to minimize or eliminate the illegal robocalls consumers receive. The FTC and FCC have worked closely with phone companies, tech innovators, and others to find solutions for consumers to the problems of illegal robocalls and malicious spoofing. More information on this Expo, including how innovators can seek to participate, will be available at: www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/2018/04/stop-illegal-robocalls-expo.
In combating abusive and fraudulent calls through early 2018, the FTC’s enforcement actions have resulted in 134 lawsuits against 789 companies and individuals alleged to be responsible for placing billions of unwanted telemarketing calls to consumers. The FTC has been awarded judgments totaling over $1.5 billion and has collected over $121 million from these violators.
Under Chairman Pai, the FCC proposed over $200 million in fines last year alone for apparent illegal spoofing by telemarketers in first-of-their-kind cases under the Truth in Caller ID Act. In addition, the FCC has adopted new rules to allow phone companies to block robocalls that are likely to be illegal, such as those purporting to be from non-existent numbers. The agency is also seeking public input on ways to help authenticate caller ID information and reduce unwanted calls to reassigned phone numbers.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
Press Release Reference
CONTACT FOR CONSUMERS:
FTC Consumer Response Center
Mitchell J. Katz
FTC Office of Public Affairs
FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau