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April 23, 2018

Exponential Increase in Wireless Solutions Makes It Easier to Stop Unwanted Robocalls .

Exponential Increase in Wireless Solutions Makes It Easier to Stop Unwanted Robocalls

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CTIA AVP Krista Witanowski
Krista Witanowski
Assistant Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Today, the FCC and FTC are hosting the Stop Illegal Robocalls Expo to feature many of the latest technologies, applications, and devices consumers can use to minimize or eliminate unwanted robocalls. The event will showcase consumer-friendly innovations from leading wireless, wireline, cable, and app providers.

Although some robocalls are useful—like the ones you receive from pharmacies, airlines, and schools—some robocalls are illegal, intrusive, and annoying. Aggressive enforcement of bad actors is key to combatting illegal robocalls, and we applaud the FCC and FTC’s continued robust enforcement efforts.

The wireless industry also works to minimize the negative impact of robocalls, collectively stopping billions of calls. Many wireless providers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon offer consumers call blocking features and tools that predict whether calls are spam. The industry is also working with standards bodies like The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Forum on a framework to authenticate phone calls and reduce instances of caller ID spoofing.

Robocall Apps on the Rise

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Robocall Apps on the Rise

Tech companies are also stepping in to help stop unwanted calls by creating blocking apps and other innovative solutions. The Expo is expected to showcase examples of these offerings, with more and more options under development all the time.

The 495 percent growth in app offerings in just the last 18 months alone provides consumers a bevy of options to choose from. CTIA has compiled lists of the apps available for each operating system to help consumers evaluate the best solutions for their situation.

Industry, the federal government, and consumers must collaborate to prevent robocalls from bad actors. Consumers can help in the battle by:

  • Downloading and activating available tools. Consumers should check with their provider to see if there are blocking features built into their device and download available robocall blocking apps on Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows
  • Reporting unwanted calls. Our website features step-by-step instructions on how to use robocall blocking tools.
  • Registering their numbers. Consumers can add their wireless phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Filing a complaint. The FTC and the FCC both offer online portals where consumers can report unwanted robocalls. Alternatively, call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP or the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC.
  • Forwarding SPAM text messages to 7726 (or SPAM). Many consumers can report SPAM messages to their wireless provider via a free text exchange.
  • Checking the FCC’s webpage. The FCC has a dedicated webpage that links to helpful resources for combatting robocalls.
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