This week President Trump signed the first federal law designed to combat robocalls, giving federal agencies new abilities to go after illegal robocallers.
The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED) imposes harsher fines of as much as $10,000 per call on robocallers who knowingly violate the rules. In addition, it gives regulators like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) up to four years to go after scammers, thus extending the statute of limitations from one year.
In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said: “I applaud Congress for working in a bipartisan manner to combat illegal robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing. And I thank the President and Congress for the additional tools and flexibility that this law affords us.
“Specifically, I am glad that the agency now has a longer statute of limitations during which we can pursue scammers and I welcome the removal of a previously-required warning we had to give to unlawful robocallers before imposing tough penalties.”
TRACED also requires major carriers to implement call authentication technology, STIR/SHAKEN to authenticate calls and prevent robocalls – to which many have begun deploying throughout 2019.
The bi-partisan legislation also states that consumers should get access to robocall blocking at no additional costs.
Limits on legal robocalls have also been put in place, such as calls from financial institutions about fraudulent transactions will be exempt from the law.
“This historic legislation will provide American consumers with even greater protection against annoying unsolicited robocalls,” said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.
“American families deserve control over their communications, and this legislation will update our laws and regulations to stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to stop unwanted solicitation.”