State lawmakers push to stop robocalls

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(WIVB) – State lawmakers are taking charge of the campaign to hang up on those annoying robocalls that never seem to stop.

Governor Kathy Hochul signed two bills Monday that could give New Yorkers some relief.

Americans are bombarded by robocalls every minute of every day. As of August, a call protection service found 34 billion robocalls had been received by phone users.

One of the measures the governor signed into law would beef up the state’s enforcement of a technology known as “stir-shaken” which allows a service provider to trace the source of a bogus caller.

Senator Chuck Schumer co-sponsored the federal measure two years ago.

“As they disguise it and go through different networks, it will go all the way back, and they can stop the call because they know where it is coming from and they will know that this is a scammer, and they can stop it,” Sen. Schumer said.

Since stir/shaken rules went into effect at the end of June, the robocall blocking service YouMail reports robocalls have dropped by nearly 9 percent.

The other measure taking effect, allows phone service providers to identify calls from certain numbers that they believe to be spoofed and warn the caller, or block the call altogether.

It adds state enforcement to a new FCC regulation.

“We are seeing $10 billion worth of fraud a year against consumers, not to mention three billion dollars a year in wasted time from you and me answering all these stupid phone calls,” said Teresa Murray of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. “So I think that the FCC has finally heard enough from enough aspects of our society that they are done.”

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here. To submit a Call 4 Action, click here.

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