U.S. Department of Justice: District Court Enters Permanent Injunction Shutting Down Telecom Carriers Who Facilitated Hundreds of Millions of Fraudulent Robocalls to Consumers in The United States

U.S. Department of Justice: District Court Enters Permanent Injunction Shutting Down Telecom Carriers Who Facilitated Hundreds of Millions of Fraudulent Robocalls to Consumers in The United States. “As alleged in a civil complaint filed earlier this year in United States v. Nicholas Palumbo, et al., spouses Nicholas and Natasha Palumbo of Scottsdale, Arizona, and their companies, Ecommerce National LLC d/b/a TollFreeDeals.com and SIP Retail d/b/a sipretail.com, received millions of fraudulent internet-based calls every day from other entities, often located abroad. Those calls were then transmitted, initially to other carriers within the United States and ultimately, to the phones of individuals. The defendants are alleged to have knowingly allowed numerous foreign-based individuals and entities to transmit fraudulent government- and business-imposter robocalls through defendants’ network and on to victims in the United States.”

CNET: Supreme Court strikes debt-collector exception for robocall ban

CNET: Supreme Court strikes debt-collector exception for robocall ban. “The US Supreme Court on Monday struck down an exception in federal law that allowed debt collectors to use robocalls to automatically dial cellphones. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits robocalls made to cell phones without a user’s consent. But in 2015, Congress added an exception in the law that allowed debt collectors, who were seeking to recover money owed to the US government or debts guaranteed by the government, to use automated dialers or robocallers to make calls in the hopes of recovering some of the money owed.”

CNN: FCC seeks record fine against alleged scam operators who made 1 billion robocalls

CNN: FCC seeks record fine against alleged scam operators who made 1 billion robocalls. “The US government is seeking fines of up to $225 million from health insurance telemarketers who allegedly made a billion unwanted robocalls in violation of Federal Communications Commission rules. The record-breaking penalty, announced Tuesday, is the largest proposed fine in FCC history. It targets Texas-based Rising Eagle for allegedly spamming consumers in more than a half-dozen states, including Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.”

CNN: Americans are getting fewer robocalls because of the pandemic

CNN: Americans are getting fewer robocalls because of the pandemic. “One of the biggest consumer headaches has eased up at least in part due to the pandemic. Americans experienced a drop in the amount of robocalls flooding their phones in April, helped by international call centers being shut down during the global pandemic and government efforts to stop Covid-19-related scams.”

Ars Technica: FCC to require anti-robocall tech after “voluntary” plan didn’t work out

Ars Technica: FCC to require anti-robocall tech after “voluntary” plan didn’t work out. “Phone companies would be required to deploy technology that prevents spoofing of Caller ID under a plan announced today by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.”

Motherboard: This App Automatically Cancels and Sues Robocallers

Motherboard: This App Automatically Cancels and Sues Robocallers. “DoNotPay, the family of consumer advocacy services meant to protect people from corporate exploitation, is launching a new app aimed at helping end our long national nightmare surrounding robocalls by giving you a burner credit card to get their contact details then giving you a chatbot lawyer to automatically sue them.” Oh, if they only had one that worked for land lines…

CNET: Justice Department targets robocalls with two major court cases

CNET: Justice Department targets robocalls with two major court cases. “The Justice Department’s first enforcement of a civil complaint against carriers for facilitating robocalls on their networks saw ‘two major actions’ filed in courts Tuesday morning. The calls, originating from India, have spoofed caller IDs from numbers like 911, Social Security and the IRS, and are causing ‘devastating financial harm,’ Assistant Attorney General Jody H. Hunt of the Civil Division said in a press call Tuesday afternoon.”

MakeUseOf: Is “Scam Likely” Calling You? Here’s How to Block Them

MakeUseOf: Is “Scam Likely” Calling You? Here’s How to Block Them. “While you’re probably used to your phone’s caller ID letting you know who’s calling, you may have recently seen a strange ‘scam likely’ message in its place instead. Who is ‘scam likely,’ why are you seeing this, and what should you do? Let’s look at the ‘scam likely’ situation so you can understand it fully.” At this writing there are two comments with an additional couple of suggestions.

Ars Technica: Congress passes legislation expanding robocall penalties

Ars Technica: Congress passes legislation expanding robocall penalties. “The US Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday that aims to end the scourge of robocalls. The TRACED Act had already passed the House of Representatives, so it’s now headed to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature.”

FTC: Robocaller could be fined $10 million

CNET: Robocaller could be fined $10 million. “The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has suggested a robocall telemarketer be fined almost $10 million, after an investigation found he spoofed a competitor’s phone number to spread misinformation about a candidate during California’s 2018 primary election.”

The House and Senate finally agree on something: Robocalls (TechCrunch)

TechCrunch: The House and Senate finally agree on something: Robocalls. “In these times of political strife, it’s nice that despite our differences we can still band together as a nation in the face of a catastrophe that affects us all equally. I speak, of course, of robocalls, and it seems that the House and Senate have put their differences aside for the present in order to collaborate on a law combating this scourge.”

Engadget: Phone companies and state attorneys general join forces to fight robocalls

Engadget: Phone companies and state attorneys general join forces to fight robocalls. “US consumers receive as many as 350,000 unwanted calls every three minutes, according to the FCC. Despite multiple efforts to end the onslaught, an estimated 4.7 billion robocalls hit American phones in July alone. Now, attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are teaming up with 12 carriers in a united effort to prevent and block the spam calls.”

TechCrunch: Robocall blocking apps caught sending your private data without permission

TechCrunch: Robocall blocking apps caught sending your private data without permission. “Robocall-blocking apps promise to rid your life of spoofed and spam phone calls. But are they as trustworthy as they claim to be? One security researcher said many of these apps can violate your privacy as soon as they are opened.”

Slashgear: Google Voice voicemail transcript forwarding shut down due to spam abuse

Slashgear: Google Voice voicemail transcript forwarding shut down due to spam abuse. “In an email sent to Google Voice users, the tech giant announced that Google Voice’s SMS voicemail transcription forwarding will be shutting down. It was pretty clear for the reason for the rather abrupt change: spam robocalls.”