Robocalls ‘are not going to go away’ even as new US law kicks in

Sep 28, 2021, 7:49 AM | Updated: 7:50 am
(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

New rules on robocalls in the United States kick in Tuesday, Sept. 28, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the calls will stop entirely.

Ross: US finally doing something about rampant robocalls

Starting today, all U.S. phone providers will be required to block calls from companies that have not reported their status on using robocall-blocking technology.

Even with that rule, however, a consumer foundation says crooks will continue to find new ways around the rules and robocalls will likely not stop.

“Unfortunately, all robocalls are not going to go away,” said Nicole Walter, an advocate with WashPIRG Foundation.

Even if they slow down, Walter says scam calls may be harder to detect because those who make them are learning to use your personal information to think the call is legitimate.

“We expect to see that the calls that still make it are going to get more targeted, and honestly creepier. These are those calls where they already know something about you — maybe they got your information from a big data breach, or just the info that we willingly put out there on social media,” she said.

Walter added that text messages are not covered by the new law, so she expects scam or robo texts will continue to increase.

If you answer a suspicious call, do not give out any information or respond to prompts to be put on a “do-not-call” list. Blocking the number of a robocall after you get it can help.

“Don’t answer it, don’t respond to anyone on the phone, don’t even press a button to be taken off a list because you are sending back to that scammer that there is a live person at the other end of that phone number,” Walter said.

You can also report suspicious calls to the Federal Trade Commission and get your number listed on its “do not call” registry.

“If you want to stop receiving sales calls, you should register your phone number with the federal do not call registry,” Walter said. “A legitimate business will honor your request because it’s the law.”

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Robocalls ‘are not going to go away’ even as new US law kicks in