Please enjoy this article from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Newsletter. For more information or to view the full edition of the newsletter, visit their website at https://www.fdacs.gov/News-Events/Florida-Consumer-E-Newsletter . You can also subscribe to receive the newsletter straight to your inbox.
The Signing of the TRACED Act:
An Anti-Robocall and Spoofing Statute
On December 30, 2019, President Trump signed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED) into law. The bipartisan legislation expanded the power of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deter spam calls and reinforced the responsibility of individual phone companies to protect their own customers.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement: "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."
Here are some of the key takeaways from the new legislation.
- The FCC now has four years to intervene and collect fines after an illegal robocall takes place instead of only one, as previously allowed.
- Fines on spam robocallers are increased from $1,500 to as much as $10,000 per illegal call.
- Phone companies are required to speed up their adaptation of "call authentication technologies" to verify that incoming calls are legitimate before ever reaching consumers.
- The FCC and service providers are required to develop a system which informs customers when they are receiving a "spoofed" call.
The TRACED law also directs the FCC to create new rules that will help protect consumers from unwanted texts, too.
Spam robocalls will not disappear overnight or entirely, but consumers will hopefully see a significant reduction in the number they receive in 2020.