Robocalls up by 46 percent in 2018 — NJ congressman wants crackdown
New Jersey congressman Frank Pallone is reintroducing the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, to rein in excessive, annoying messages.
Pallone says in the past, cell phones had been immune from receiving calls. But as anyone with a cell phone knows, that's not the case anymore.
It's estimated that telemarketers made 26.3 billion unwanted calls in the United States last year, a 46 percent increase from the previous year.
He says prior rules prohibiting use of certain equipment for robocalls have been struck down by federal courts.
"We are seeing a major, significant increase in the number of calls, because the enforcement mechanism is not what it used to be," said Pallone, D-N.J. 6th District, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
He says in order to effectively do robocalls, you had to use certain kind of equipment that allows you to do it quicker. And that was what the statute was linked to.
The congressman says among other things, HR946 would enable the FCC to crack down on robocallers, allow consumers to revoke consent to be called and require calls to have verified ID info. The act also would allow consumers to revoke consent that they had previously given to receive calls at any time. And the law would lengthen the statute of limitations for caller violating prohibitions on robocalls from its current one year to four years.
Lawmakers in New Jersey are trying to pass laws on the state level, too.
"I think that we can get bipartisan support and try to get it passed," he said. "I think that there is a lot of opposition to robocalls, particularly since the system has sort of broken down and they are becoming more frequent now."
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5