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If you have a phone, it probably seems like illegal robocalls are out of control. There are several reasons for the spike in illegal robocalls.

The FTC is continuing aggressive law enforcement and pursuing innovative solutions to the robocall problem.  Learn more about what the FTC is doing at ftc.gov/robocalls.

Transcript

If you have a telephone, it probably seems like illegal robo calls are out of control. I'm Kati Daffan, an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission. If you pick up the phone, and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, that's a robocall.

Consumers are getting more and more robo calls, and they are not happy about it. As the number of calls has multiplied, the number of complaints has, too. The reason for the spike in robo calls has to do with technology. Companies are using auto dialers, that can send out thousands of phone calls every minute, for an incredibly low cost.

What's important is that the companies that use this technology don't bother to screen for the numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. If a company doesn't care about obeying the law, you can be sure they're trying to scam you. You've probably gotten robo calls about candidates running for office, or charities asking for donations. These robo calls are allowed. But any robo call that's trying to sell you something probably is illegal, unless you've given your written permission to get calls from that company.

The FTC has stopped billions, yes billions, of robo calls in the last two years. Tracing these calls is a tough job, and there are a few reasons for that. One, is that many different companies use the same, or very similar, recorded messages. Another, is that they fake the caller ID information that you see on your phone. That's called caller ID spoofing, and new technology makes it very easy to do. And the third, is that the robo callers often place the calls through internet technology, that hides their location.

At the FTC, we're continuing our aggressive enforcement efforts. And we're also looking for innovative, technological solutions to the robo call problem. For more information, please visit ftc.gov/robocalls. That's ftc.gov/robocalls.

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