WYOMING – Hardly anyone answers their phone anymore. Smartphones with caller ID have made Americans gun-shy about saying hi when it’s a number they don’t recognize.
Why? Too many robocalls, too many scammers.
It’s made us afraid to pickup a call from a number not in our contact list (Who would just call out of the blue?) the same way the mobile phone has made most of us reluctant to answer the doorbell (Who would just drop in unannounced?). We don’t even leave voicemails anymore, preferring the visual assurance from a text that a random contact has nothing to do with aluminum siding or jury duty.
It might be a First World problem, but politicians are at least aware of it and trying to do something about it.
The US Senate today passed bipartisan legislation (S.151) by a 97-1 vote to address the increasing number of robocall scams. The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which US Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., cosponsored, gives regulators more time to find scammers, increases civil forfeiture penalties, promotes call authentication and blocking adoption, and establishes a working group to better prosecute and deter illegal robocalls.
“I have heard from folks all over Wyoming about the countless scam phone calls they receive—and I’ve received several myself,” Enzi said. “These calls are a nuisance and many people have even become reluctant to answer their phones. I am glad the Senate took an important step to help consumers and hold these scammers accountable.”
Barrasso, too, agreed robocalls area pain in the posterior for everyone.
“One of the biggest complaints I hear from people in Wyoming is that they’re being hassled by unwanted robocalls, which are often scams,” Barrasso said. “The TRACED Act will help stop these unwanted calls and crack down on the scammers and companies that are behind them.”
Summary of the TRACED Act:
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