WASHINGTON — If you're getting bombarded by spam calls, you are not alone.
A new report found that Americans received 26.3 billion robocalls last year. That's up 46 percent from 2017.
That uptick has a group of Washington lawmakers working to do something about it.
- Rep. Charlie Crist among bipartisan group
- Group calling for task force to find solutions
- Task force would work with Attorney General, FCC, FTC
- More Politics stories
"It’s unbelievable, it’s astronomical," Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Florida) said in an interview with Spectrum News.
Crist and a bipartisan group of lawmakers want to form a special task force, directing the Attorney General to work with the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies to find solutions.
“It will give us a much better, knowledgeable opportunity to do the kinds of things to reduce the incidents of this happening going forward," Crist said.
'A Good Start'
Tom Gann, the VP of Government Relations for McAfee, thinks the legislation is a good start.
“The idea of convening experts from the different agencies under the guidance of the FCC to figure out where the gaps are in the laws and then come up with a game plan, makes a lot of sense," Gann said.
Blocking repeat callers and adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call List can help cut back on the pesky calls. However, experts like Gann emphasize the situation is serious.
“The spam calls I worry about most are the ones that are connected to bigger campaigns run by international crime syndicates that are using multi channels to communicate with citizens and manipulate them," he said.
There’s one way to stop your phone from ringing when unknown callers call all together. Users can turn on the Do Not Disturb function for anyone not in your contacts list, which is available on both iPhones and Androids.
A major downside to activating this function: the user won't receive any calls from a number that is unrecognizable, including unexpected calls that aren't necessarily unwanted. Once Do Not Disturbed is activated, users will still receive missed call notifications and can receive voicemail.
“For people who are getting an excessive amount of these calls, contacting the FCC, the FTC, alerting them to them makes a lot of sense," Gann explained.
The Senate has also introduced legislation that seeks to discourage spammers by improving the enforcement of the Communications Act of 1934.