TRACED Act to Offer Increased Consumer Protections Against Robocalls

TRACED Act to Offer Increased Consumer Protections Against RobocallsRobocallers and other bad actors who use CallerID to spoof numbers are in for a reckoning in 2020, thanks in part to the signing of the bipartisan Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, better known as the TRACED Act. Signed into law by President Donald J. Trump Monday, December 30th, 2019, the TRACED Act takes proactive steps to increase enforcement actions against those entities that make illegal robocalls as well as significantly increases the civil penalties against perpetrators.

As one of the first federal laws designed to combat the proliferation of robocalls, the TRACED Act is an important piece of legislation that can help to protect the integrity of phone calls and more specifically, Toll-Free. By prioritizing the industry-wide implementation of STIR/SHAKEN – a framework that was created to help combat illegal caller ID spoofing and stop robocall companies from masking the true numbers of unwanted and illegal calls – the TRACED Act seeks to decrease Toll-Free traffic pumping and prevent fraudsters and scammers from obtaining Toll-Free Numbers (TFNs).

The real winners in the passing of the TRACED Act; however, are consumers. “With this legislation, phone companies will be required to give all consumers meaningful new protections against these calls and Americans will finally get some relief from the ringing telephone," says Maureen Mahoney, policy analyst with Consumer Reports. As annoying – and potentially dangerous – as robocalls are, legislation such as the TRACED Act, in tandem with other efforts by the telecommunications industry, is proactively driving the move towards minimizing, or eventually eliminating, their existence.

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continues its mission to protect subscribers from receiving unwanted calls or text messages that use an unauthenticated number, Somos will remain active with the industry and policymakers on this issue, and will keep you informed on the proceedings and requirements needed to preserve the integrity of the TRACED Act.

To learn more about the provisions of the TRACED Act, click here for a Section-by-Section Summary issued by the Committee on Energy & Commerce.

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