Whether at home, work or on a cell phone, it’s a scenario many Americans have found themselves in: answering a phone call only to find out it’s from an unwanted robocaller.
In fact, the number of unwanted robocalls in this country has skyrocketed in recent years. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ranks unwanted robocalls highest on their list of consumer complaints.
Fortunately, consumers have won additional protections against unwanted robocalls under recent legislation signed by President Trump, the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act.
One of the main goals of the TRACED Act is to establish rules to protect consumers from receiving calls from unauthenticated numbers. Provisions of the TRACED Act include:
- Requiring all carriers to implement new caller-ID technology at no additional charge to consumers
- Extending the statute of limitations for prosecuting illegal robocallers
- Allowing the FCC to go after first-time robocall offenders
- Increasing penalties for robocall violations
- Creating an interagency task force to study and improve the government prosecution of robocall violations
- Establishing a neutral consortium of carriers that will lead efforts to trace back the origin of robocalls
If you pick up an unwanted robocall, hang up right away. Avoid answering “yes” or “no” questions, providing personal information, or pressing a number to “opt out,” since scammers often use these tricks to identify and target “live” respondents, resulting in additional calls.
Protecting Yourself from Unwanted Robocalls
Unfortunately, even with these new protections, it will take some time for all of the TRACED Act provisions to fully take effect. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to protect yourself:
- Don’t answer calls when you don’t recognize the phone number. Instead, let them go to voicemail and check later to verify the caller.
- Consider signing up for a robocall blocking service.
- Many phone service providers now offer robocall blocking solutions at no additional charge.
- You can also download additional robocall protection for free or minimal cost through a third-party app.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, which removes your number from the call lists used by legitimate telemarketing companies.
- Keep in mind that while registering with the DNC Registry will result in you getting fewer calls from legitimate telemarketers.
- The registry won’t stop illegal robocallers from contacting you.
Before investing in a mutual fund, carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the fund. This information can be found in the prospectus, which can be obtained from the fund. Read it carefully before investing. Diversification alone cannot guarantee a profit or ensure against the possibility of loss. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any strategy will be successful.
Please remember that due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this commentary serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Bogart Wealth. Bogart Wealth is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the commentary content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Bogart Wealth’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees continues to remain available upon request. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. This material was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.