New technology coming in attempt to thwart robo calls

The robocall problem has exploded because cheap software makes it easy to make mass calls. (Photo: PxHere)
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By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
August 23, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Unwanted robocalls may soon meet their match.

Pushed by more than a dozen State Attorneys General, including Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, land line and cellphone providers are about to employ a new technology designed to thwart the calls.

Robocalls are annoying.

“I don’t pick up the phone for those,” said cellphone user Nicole Ballas.

Callers often spoof a local number.

“It’s pretty disruptive,” said FAMU student Ashley Guy. "I get them in the mornings when I’m trying to sleep.”

But the people behind the calls may soon face difficulties getting through to your phone.

In an agreement with Attorneys General from around the country, providers have decided to crack down on robo callers.

“Most specifically, they are going to use an advanced technology not only to stop them, but to make sure we can identify where these calls are coming from,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Moody is touting the working arrangement in this social media video.

“Following these principles, voice service providers will help consumers block unwanted calls, label incoming calls as potential scams,” said Moody in the clip released Thursday.

There’s an old adage that says your strongest punch is the one you never have to throw.

That’s how the Attorney General describes the new move.

“We also have the ability to go after bad actors,” said Moody. "And so often times, we can come together and talk about what needs to be done. We can then as a group, sometimes that creates a little more interest.”

Those we talked to were hopeful.

“That sounds great,” said Guy.

But also skeptical.

"I think there’s a lot of different people who’ve tried a lot of different things, and they haven’t been very successful, apparently,” said Roger Casavant.

As part of the agreement, the dozen companies have to reach out to customers and tell them what’s available and when, so look for a notice from your provider in the months ahead.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says 18 companies were fined just over a million dollars this past year for violating the state’s do not call list.

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