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The FCC wants to protect consumers against ringless voicemail

2022-02-03 19:47 by
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The Federal Communications Commission could soon make it more difficult for telemarketers to leave ringless voicemails on your cellphone. On Wednesday, Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel shared a proposal that seeks to force callers to obtain your consent before they can leave a message directly in your voicemail box.

Rosenworcel says the technology behind ringless voicemails should be subject to the same rules laid out by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which is supposed to block robocallers from dialing your number without your consent. The TCPA sets a number of other rules as well, requiring telemarketing agencies to create and abide by a "Do Not Call" list and barring them from calling residences between 9PM and 8AM.

"Ringless voicemail can be annoying, invasive and can lead to fraud like other robocalls-so it should face the same consumer protection rules," said Rosenworcel. "No one wants to wade through voicemail spam, or miss important messages because their mailbox is full. This FCC action would continue to empower consumers to choose which parties they give permission to contact them."

Although the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act prevents robocalls from ringing through to your phone, it doesn't address the problem of telemarketers spamming your voicemail box with messages. As long as they don't make your phone ring, it appears that your voicemail is still fair game.

The FCC hasn't set a date to vote on the proposal, and even if it does pass, consumers should probably temper their expectations. There are already plenty of laws on the books and protections to shield consumers from scam calls, yet in 2021, attempts still managed to hit an all-time high. Worse yet, nearly a quarter of Americans lost money to phone scams last year, with the average loss being just over $500.

Read more -here-


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