Fewer robot calls coming your way

Minnesota residents may be getting fewer robot calls soon thanks to the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, or TRACED Act. The government updated the original Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Why the legislation was amended

The previous Telephone Consumer Protection Act did not allow any monetary penalties and required the FCC to issue a warning before being assessed. It also did not apply to calls made from outside the United States.

What the current law says

The current law permits the Federal Trade Commission to levy a fine of $20,489 for every single violation. It also gives the government permission to levy up to $153,669 to calls from a United States carrier. While the previous law allowed the government to go back two years, the new law will enable charges to go back four years for international calls. On calls placed in the United States, the government can only go back one year. The new law also applies to those calls made using caller ID spoofing software.

Does the TRACED Act apply to international callers?

Yes, the new TRACED Act applies to international callers. Each call is considered a separate violation of the law. The FTC can issue a fine of up to $10,000 on each offense. There is no cap on the amount that the FTC can fine a non-U.S.-based company.

Will companies be warned before being fined?

International companies will receive a warning before being fined. Companies located in the U.S. will not receive a notification from the FCC.

Although it may be challenging to catch up with some telephone robot callers, the government is determined to do it. If you want to help in the process, you may want to talk to a consumer justice attorney.