The Federal Trade Commission and federal authorities are preparing to file charges against several companies and individuals, as a part of a government crackdown on illegal robocalls.
You know those annoying phone calls from random numbers that offer you opportunities to lower your credit or take a trip? Those are robocalls. A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized auto-dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot. They are usually associated with political and telemarketing phone campaigns, but can also be used for public service, emergency announcements and in many cases for scams.
To alleviate the problem, two FTC commissioners have launched a mission called “Operation Call It Quits.” The politicians involved include Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, a Democrat, and Noah Phillips, a Republican. According to the government, there are several billion robocalls made every year. “Robocalls are not just an annoyance that every single American feels several times a day,” he said. “They can be a real problem for people who do pick up the phone and sometimes fall victim to those kinds of scams.”
The mission will include 94 actions that will work to crack down on the companies that are responsible for the calls. Some of the robocalls, the commission said, were “bogus credit card interest rate reduction services” to “fraudulent money-making opportunities” and “medical alert systems.” The two politicians say the task will be a challenge, as many of the calls are coming from overseas.
“Today announcing Operation Call it Quits is part of the solution to the problem, it is not the whole of the solution,” Phillips said, adding “it’s going to take engagement from industry. It’s going to take technological development, it’s going to take engagement from consumers, which we at the FTC also try to do, and the hope is through all of these combined efforts we can help push back.”