FCC launches new effort to crack down on robocalls

FCC launches new effort to crack down on robocalls
© Greg Nash

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stepped up its efforts to crack down on robocalls Thursday, opening up an inquiry into how to combat illegal and fraudulent callers.

The FCC voted to explore the issue of caller ID spoofing which allows robocall operators to mask their identity and even make their numbers appear benign.

The agency receives more complaints about robocalls than any other topic, Chairman Ajit Pai told reporters Thursday.

"With today’s action at the FCC, relief from robocalls is getting closer for American consumers,” Pai said.

The inquiry could lead to a system that would allow telecommunications companies to authenticate a call’s origin while it’s being connected.

“A call authentication framework would help us deal with the growing problem of malicious callers who hide their originating phone number,” Pai said.

Thursday’s moves are the latest in Pai’s effort to enhance the FCC’s role of policing robocalls.

Last month, the commission also approved a record $122 million fine for a Florida man who was accused of making nearly 100 million robocalls in a three-month period.