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Many frustrated with high number of robocalls

Posted at 10:48 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 23:48:11-04

TULSA, Okla. — If you're on the receiving end of multiple spoof robocalls each day, you're not alone.

“Some days I’ll get 10 or 15," Dana Loomer said.

“At least two to three times a day, I mean, it’s every single day," Nichole Tarbox said.

Data from YouMail's robocall index shows there were more than 504 million robocalls placed in Oklahoma last year. So far this year, more than 104 million robocalls.

These calls are leaving many frustrated and unsure whether to answer the phone.

“If I don’t know it, I don’t answer it anymore," Tarbox said.

“Sometimes, I just answer it [as the] sheriff’s department, fraud division," Loomer said. "And the people will hang up. The robots don’t appreciate it.”

The Federal Communications Commission is working to crack down on these calls. The TRACED Act, signed into law in 2019, gives the FCC the ability to prosecute scammers and make it easier to identify robocalls. Just last week, the FCC issued a $225 million fine to Texas-based telemarketers for transmitting about one-billion robocalls.

Now, the FCC is working to implement a caller ID authentication framework called STIR/SHAKEN. It validates phone numbers coming through, allowing your phone company to verify that the call coming to you is from that number displayed on caller ID.

You can also register your number on the “do not call list.” While doing so will not completely stop the calls, it should reduce them. It's a problem both Loomer and Tarbox are experiencing.

“I block them and they just find new ways. I mean new numbers," Tarbox said.

"I block them when I realize it’s a bad number, but my goodness, I’ve probably got a hundred phone numbers blocked, and they just keep coming up with new ones," Loomer said.

The FCC is requiring providers have that STIR/SHAKEN technology in place by June 30. If the provider can’t put it in place, it must find other ways to help mitigate those robocalls.

There are also different mobile apps, like Robokiller, to help stop those annoying calls.

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