Phone Companies Are Finally Going To Start Fighting Robocalls

This is a big step forward.

After years of U.S. customer complaints, some of America's biggest telecom companies they have an agreement to begin fighting robocalls.

In July of 2019 alone, Americans received 4.7 billion illegal spam calls, according to Slate. Now, 12 phone companies, including Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T, said they will begin labeling and blocking robocalls together at no extra charge. 

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"Illegal robocalls harass and harm our people," Josh Stein, a North Carolina attorney general involved in crafting the deal, told The Washington Post. "There is no silver bullet to put a stop to them, but these anti-robocall principles represent a dramatic step forward," he added in an interview."

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With the new agreement, those major telephone companies will "implement call-blocking technology, make anti-robocall tools available for free to consumers and deploy a new system that would label calls as real or spam," according to The Washington Post. One major focus is "spoofing," which is when spam callers use phone numbers that are from the same areas as the people they are spamming. 

While the timeline for implementing this new tech is uncertain, the agreement is a major step forward and advocates for action on robocalls are hopeful it the crackdown will start soon. Along with the 12 telecom companies, 51 state attorney generals committed to helping them implement the tech. 

"Robocalls are a scourge — at best, annoying, at worst, scamming people out of their hard-earned money," Stein added in an interview with The New York Times. "By signing on to these principles, industry leaders are taking new steps to keep your phone from ringing with an unwanted call."

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