Robocall Crackdown to Be Policed With U.S. Phone Company Help

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission set new rules to curb annoying robocalls, limiting the number of calls companies can make and requiring phone companies to take greater steps to ensure their networks aren’t used to transmit illegal calls.

The FCC said it receives more complaints about unwanted calls than any other issue and has been on a years-long quest to limit calls that can be used to commit fraud and identity theft.

“Americans are sick and tired of unwanted and illegal robocalls, and today’s separate actions are like a one-two punch to ward them off,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.

Under new rules announced Wednesday, voice service providers will be required to better police their networks to block robocalls with procedures to resolve disputes if a call is blocked in error. Consumers are to be notified when calls are blocked and can request a list of all blocked calls. The phone companies also would be required to aid the FCC and law enforcement in identifying the origin of the robocalls.

Some companies, like those doing market research or political polling, are exempt from some of the restrictions on calling consumers. Such groups will be limited, though, to three calls in a 30-day period and must give consumers a way to opt out of future calls. Those requirements are set to take effect in six months.

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