March 6, 2020 / 10:43 PM / 24 days ago

U.S. FCC takes step for fight robocalls by stopping spoofing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. agency that oversees telecommunications said on Friday that it would propose rules that would make it harder for robocallers to hide their location when they call to pester Americans billions of times per month.

Chairman Ajit Pai, who heads the five-member Federal Communications Commission, proposed rules requiring phone companies to use a caller ID authentication technology called STIR/SHAKEN, acronyms for a way to digitally validate a phone call as it passes through networks to verify it is coming from the number given on Caller ID.

American consumers lose about $10 billion annually to fraudulent robocall schemes, the agency said in a release.

The U.S. Justice Department sued five U.S. companies and three individuals in late January, alleging they were behind hundreds of millions of fraudulent robocalls that scammed elderly Americans and others into “massive financial losses.” Many of the calls originated in India.

The FCC has also leaned on gateway service providers who they said allowed illegal robocalls from overseas onto U.S. networks, saying that they should prevent the calls.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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