The telecommunications companies that operate in California have until January 2021 to implement technology that identifies automated calls or robocalls , according to a state law that was just signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.
In 2017, about 30 billion automated calls were issued in the United States, of which an estimated 40 percent were scams. Among them are those in which a person pretends to be an employee of the Social Security Administration and suggests that his social security number is about to be suspended.
The SB-208 of Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), urges telephone companies to take measures so that users can reject these calls without having to answer them.
“It is very important to protect the consumer from these fraud calls,” said the senator.
One of the concerns is that scammers tend to look for vulnerable groups, including senior citizens or immigrants who are not familiar with the American system.
“This is a big problem among the Latino community,” said Ashley Salas, a telecommunications prosecutor with The Utility Reform Network ( TURN ).
” Robocalls are aimed primarily at senior citizens, immigrants, low-income people and individuals whose first language is not English,” he said.
The purpose of the scammers is to obtain personal and financial information from the respondent. These criminal groups have found a way to look like a legitimate call in the caller ID.
Under this new law, companies must use technology so that the user can identify that it is an automated call. Some of them already offer this service at an additional cost.
“If (the companies) want to continue charging for this service or offer it at no cost, it will be a business decision that they will have to make, but consumers will benefit because we will know who is calling us,” Salas said.
State law also forges the way for the California Public Services Commission (CPUC) to collaborate with the California Attorney General’s Office in support of legal action against those who commit this offense.
Automated calls used for political or service purposes may continue, only now the user will know in advance what awaits him on the other side of the line.