Larry Downes: “Policymakers alone cannot stop those pesky robocalls” (Washington Post)

Posted in News

Washington Post Logo

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Washington Post
Have you ever answered your phone only to hear an ominous message about the “IRS” demanding money, warnings from “Microsoft” that your computer needs immediate repairs or from “Rachel from card member services” offering a lower interest rate on an unnamed “credit card account”? Of course you have. And probably more often than you realize. According to telecommunications services provider YouMail, Americans received almost 2.5 billion robocalls last year, generating as much as $350 million in consumer fraud. It’s little surprise that robocalls are the No. 1 consumer complaint filed with both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. And both Ajit Pai and Maureen Ohlhausen, the newly appointed chairs, respectively, of the two agencies, have long pushed for aggressive actions to better protect consumers from robocallers, or what Pai referred to Tuesday as “that scourge.”