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Why there's 'no silver bullet' to stopping illegal robocalls: USTelecom CEO

McKenzie Stratigopoulos
·Producer

Robocalls are on the rise, and aren’t likely to give beleaguered consumers a break anytime soon.

According to data from RoboKiller, these spam calls have reached “epidemic” status — with Americans receiving a staggering 5.6 billion robocalls in November alone.

“There is no silver bullet solution. We are determined, though, to keep at this and to win this fight,” Jonathan Spalter, President and CEO of USTelecom – The Broadband Association, told YFi PM.

However, he cautioned that for several reasons, “it's not going to be won overnight.”

Americans received 5.6B robocalls last month, according to RoboKiller.
Americans received 5.6B robocalls last month, according to RoboKiller.

Anti-robocall legislation is widely expected to pass in the Senate, after House lawmakers approved the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act by an almost unanimous vote just last week. The measure requires most phone companies to develop technology that verifies calls are coming from real numbers, in addition to blocking robocalls without charging customers more.

Spalter, who leads a national trade association representing technology providers, explains this legislation gives government officials “more vigorous enforcement” against criminal scammers making illegal robocalls.

“Not only are we seeing a lot of these calls spoofing financial services firms, the IRS, but also our trusted entities—what should be trusted, like health care,” he added.

Lawmakers are working to tackle illegal robocalls. (Courtesy: Getty)
Lawmakers are working to tackle illegal robocalls. (Courtesy: Getty)

The number of robocalls in the U.S. has increased to 35% this year, with America taking eighth place for countries most impacted by spam calls, according to Truecaller’s annual report.

Spalter told Yahoo Finance the industry was rallying to address the crisis.

“Our USTelecom members, who are the leading innovative carriers out there, are investing mightily, not only in expanding and making our networks better, but fighting against the degradation of digital trust that these scammers are causing,” Spalter said.

McKenzie Stratigopoulos is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @mckenziestrat

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