TRACED Act: What you need to know about new anti-robocalls law

TRACED Act: What you need to know about new anti-robocalls law
A passerby uses a mobile phone while entering a subway station, in Boston. (Steven Senne/AP)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed a new anti-robocalls measure into law Monday that is designed to reduce the torrent of annoying automated calls consumers receive.

Called the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, the legislation grants the Federal Communications Commission greater enforcement powers and requires phone service providers to come up with call authentication technology to better identify robocalls, The Associated Press reported.

Robocalls continue to plague the nation. U.S. phone users had received almost 54 billion robocalls as of November 2019, surpassing the 48 billion received in 2018, according to data from YouMail, a robocall blocking service.

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While Consumer Reports’ policy analyst Maureen Mahoney told the AP that the new law is a “big victory,” the battle against robocalls is far from over. Phone carriers in rural areas will need to update their infrastructure to take advantage of new authentication technology systems, according to Consumer Reports. And enforcement of robocalls made overseas remains difficult.

Consumer Reports recommends individuals take the following steps to reduce the number of robocalls they receive:

  • List your phone numbers with the Do Not Call Registry.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the FCC for robocalls you receive.
  • Consider robocall protection services from your carrier or via apps.
  • Update your whitelisted contacts list.
  • Don’t interact with robocallers, just hang up.