Despite government mandate to help stop them, robocalls continue to plague us

Investigators

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Billions of robocalls a month continue to plague us despite a government mandate that cell phone carriers adapt technology to control those calls.

Many of us get several of them a day. The reason for that is not every company is complying with the rules.

In some cases, the North Carolina attorney general said some companies are letting the robocalls happen because they can make money on them.

“We’re essentially in a technological war with robocalls,” said Attorney General Josh Stein.

On June 30, the government mandated that technology known as STIR/SHAKEN be implemented.

It puts a digital fingerprint on a call to show where it originates.

“Not all carriers have fully implemented STIR/SHAKEN,” said Stein. “The big ones have, but there are many, many small carriers and the FCC gave them two more years to implement the technology.”

Stein and other attorneys general are pushing the FCC to cut that deadline to one year.

The FCC said controlling robocalls is one of its top priorities.

Stein claims it’s those smaller companies that are riding the robocall wave.

“There are some carriers out there we believe are turning a blind eye to what they know is illegal robocall traffic because they make a little bit of money on every single call that uses their system,” he said.

Robocallers use the internet to hide their true location making it tougher to track those fake calls to a real organization.

Stein said there is technology people can use that can be downloaded to help cut down on robocalls.

He’s talking about call filters and spam blockers that major carriers offer to help screen out known spam or scam calls.

When some people get a robocall, they respond by leaving a voice message asking to be removed from the call list, but that doesn’t work if the robocaller is a not abiding by the rules.

If you’ve been plagued by multiple calls from the same number, file a complaint with the attorney general’s office.

They can initiate what’s known as a “trace-back investigation” to try to find out who the robocaller really is and hopefully prosecute them.

Stein’s office has also produced a “Robocall Report” explaining what’s been done so far about the problem and looks at future steps in the battle against the unwanted callers.

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