U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Cut Down on Robocalling


macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
It probably has to do with the fact that 340 million people live here, and only 17 million people live there. Plus the US is the wealthiest nation in the world, thus more money to scam for.
Europe has more than 340 million people, can't be the main reason, low cost of phone calls as one other poster said above might be one of the reasons, and English as the main language is another one.

Side note, no, the US is not the wealthiest country in the world, not even in the top 10.


macrumors member
Oct 12, 2018

The United States Senate today voted almost unanimously to approve an anti-robocalling bill that would cut down on the number of illegal robocalls that people receive.

The TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence), first introduced in January, increases penalties for robocalls, provides authorities with more time to act, promotes the adoption of call authentication and blocking tools, establishes an interagency group for exploring additional scam call deterrents, and clears the way for criminal prosecution of robocallers.

If the TRACED Act passes, individuals or companies who flout telemarketing restrictions could receive fines of up to $10,000 per call, and the FCC would have up to three years to prosecute after a robocall is placed, up from one year.

It would also require voice service providers to adopt call authentication technologies, which would let cellular carriers verify that incoming calls are legitimate before even reaching consumer phones, and it requires the FCC to create rules to help protect consumers from receiving unwanted calls or texts.

Some carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile have already implemented limited protection features that are designed to cut down on scam calls, but it's a pervasive problem that has only been growing worse in recent years.

Last year, an estimated 30 percent of all phone calls were spam calls, a number that could grow to 42 percent of all calls this year.

The FCC last week proposed new tools that would clear the way for mobile phone companies to block robocalls by default, and last year, the FCC called on companies to adopt call authentication systems for eliminating spoofed phone numbers.

The TRACED Act will now head to the House for consideration, where it is also likely to see similar support.

Article Link: U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Cut Down on Robocalling
The Ice Cream Man from Massachusetts (Sen Malarkey) finally did something I agree with. Amazing.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2018
It doesn't state how it will handle incoming international calls. For now, every call is screened and blocked.


macrumors member
Who would vote against this?
Rand Paul, as a libertarian is opposed to additional "unnecessary" laws.

He feels that laws already on the books will take care of this, or capitalism will make that business model non-profitable. Ideally, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and others would realize that by permitting robocalls, they would alienate their customers, thus drive their customers to competing suppliers. And in a perfect world, this is exactly what would happen; because NO ONE like robo-calls.

While I do not agree with him on this issue, as reality shows this concept isn't working; I respect his belief in a smaller, less invasive government.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 1, 2016
Is this really such a big issue in the US?

I'm from Germany and haven't received a robocall... maybe ever? I certainly can't remember.

I get 2 or 3 human spam calls a year for either scams or things like 'cheap energy', that's about it.

Joe h

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
It’s gotten to the point my phone is on silence, and I go through it at the end of the day to see if family or friends tried to call me. Except now the idiots over at AT&T decided to start labeling every other legitimate call as “scam likely”.


macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2010
Boston, MA
Giant nothingburger of a bill. Remember that thing touted as the "do not call list?" How useful has that been to eliminating spam? Another useless bill by our entirely inept goverment on both sides of the aisle.


macrumors 68000
Dec 26, 2008
Georgia USA
Right around april 15 I got a call every hour claiming to be from the IRS. Then two weeks later a call every hour claiming to be from the SSA and that my SSN was “suspended.” Those were robots reading words and not doing a very good job.

My wife and I both get occasional calls of a chinese recording screaming at us in chinese.

Funny thing is my Vonage number never gets these calls. Only my cell. Both are on the federal DNC register. Vonage just does a better job of blocking.
How do you know what those calls were about? Are you answering those phone calls?
If you answer the scam call, then they have your number and will call more often from various other numbers, just in case you block their initial number.

Why is this such a huge problem in the states, we do not have the problem here. (NL)
In the USA, more people have more money and the fraudsters know it. The potential is high when there are almost 330,000,000 people in the country.

How about a law that imposes penalties on the carriers instead, to force them to fix the problem rather than waiting for their announced voluntary efforts to come to fruition.
My carrier puts SCAM LIKELY on my phone for the caller ID when this type of call is received. It is NOT 100% of the time because people do not know how to report those calls.


macrumors member
Jan 25, 2014
Who would vote against this?
I think this shows some of the voters have no idea what they are voting on. I'm sure this happens more than we think. They think they are voting for something else or just don't pay attention and pick one.


macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
Unfortunately with our current government, its inane ability to create fake titles for bills, and its support by the media at any cost it will take a lot more than a few headlines to make me feel this is in anyway a benefit to consumers.

I don't believe the headline without actually reading the bill. Could it be legit? Possibly, but we know Congress will blatantly lie to get what it wants.


macrumors 6502
Mar 18, 2010
Over There
Bad legislation because every week I would win; a cruise, lower interest rates, a new home security system, a ginormous inheritance from Romania, and my joy of denying bail money for my no-good criminal nephew. He needs to stay in jail.


macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2011
Cut down? What does that mean, exactly?

Why do I get the feeling it won’t eliminate robocalls, but will simply push companies to use other methods to get around regulations?

By CUT DOWN - they mean limiting them to no more then 1 minute of call duration, but they are allowed to call you back now if you hang up! ;)


macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2018
Is this really such a big issue in the US?

I'm from Germany and haven't received a robocall... maybe ever? I certainly can't remember.

I get 2 or 3 human spam calls a year for either scams or things like 'cheap energy', that's about it.
"Americans got 26.3 billion robocalls last year, up 46 percent from 2017"

I get several a day.



macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2011
I must have read this article wrong... Congress actually doing something that appears helpful?!? I must be dreaming.


macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2016
Because we have EU privacy laws.

LOL. No, just think of the name--"robocalls." Privacy laws are irrelevant to this issue. A "robo call" means literally they don't know or care who you are. They simply use mass dialers to reach out to hundreds of millions of phone numbers not knowing who will answer, at near zero marginal costs with the goal of only having to get a tiny number to answer and buy into whatever they are selling in order to make it worthwhile.

Your post is ironic in that many, if not most, of the robo callers originate in Europe and other countries. Robocalls is a numbers game. The US is the most attractive market with a much larger target audience that speaks primarily one language. The telephone market is also hugely diverse compared to Europe and other countries so that control from the telephone provider end is more challenging.


macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2012
Your argument is devoid of any logic.

Did gas prices go up because BP, Shell, and Exxon were fined billions of dollars? No. They couldn't pass on those costs because it would make it impossible to compete. If Verizon is fined $10 billion for violating robocall laws, it can't simply jack up rates because everyone would switch to another carrier.

Not only would it be cheaper to comply (rather than "pass on costs" under your absurd theory), but protecting consumers by complying with the law would play a lot better in advertising.

No. Easy to solve. Use your real number or the call is blocked.
There's no comparison between mobile phone service and filling your car with gasoline. The first has real switching disincentives, the second is simply which gas station you choose to pull in to.


macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
In the USA, more people have more money and the fraudsters know it. The potential is high when there are almost 330,000,000 people in the country.
There are richer countries, also, Europe is bigger, plenty of rich people there, it's got to be something else, like low telephone costs for instance.
Market size and opportunity. The US is a 10 course meal for robocallers compared to a Ritz cracker like the Netherlands.
GDP per capita is higher in the Netherlands than the US!!!!!
Plenty of money and stupid people here, so no, not the main reason, I still think Language is the main reason why it's more of a problem there, the UK seems to have the same problem.