Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has introduced a proposal that would limit telemarketers’ ability to leave ringless voicemails.
Americans were on the receiving end of some 50,507,702,500 robocalls in 2021 alone, according to the YouMail RoboCall Index. The FCC has been working to cut down on the plague of calls, rolling out a number of efforts over the last couple of years.
The FCC is now taking aim at ringless voicemails, a practice that involves leaving pre-recorded voice messages — without the phone ringing. It can be an effective way for a spammer to get their message in before a person realizes it’s a spammer and hangs up.
Just like other robocalls, however, ringless voicemails are a favorite tool of scammers.
“Ringless voicemail can be annoying, invasive, and can lead to fraud like other robocalls—so it should face the same consumer protection rules,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “No one wants to wade through voicemail spam, or miss important messages because their mailbox is full. This FCC action would continue to empower consumers to choose which parties they give permission to contact them.”
Rosenworcel’s proposal would place ringless voicemail tech under the same rules that govern robocalling in general, leading to increased protections for the consumer.