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FCC, FTC give providers 48 hours to block COVID-19 scam robocalls

Gateway companies could face 'serious consequences' if they don't.
Kameleon007 via Getty Images
Kameleon007 via Getty Images
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|April 3, 2020 4:59 PM

The US government's quest to fight robocalls is taking on added urgency in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCC and FTC have demanded that gateway providers cut off COVID-19-related scam robocalls of overseas origin within 48 hours or else face "serious consequences." Other phone companies will have permission to block all traffic from those providers if they don't heed the warning, the agencies said.

The de facto order is not-so-subtly aimed at VoIP providers accused of easing access for these scam callers, including Connexum, SIPJoin and VoIP Terminator/BLMarketing.

It's a drastic step, but it might be vital. Among the campaigns are bogus COVID-19 tests and cleaning services. These scams could rob people of money or even get someone sick if they incorrectly believe they're safe. This likely won't deter other scammers, but it could ensure that people get proper information and help when they need it the most.

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FCC, FTC give providers 48 hours to block COVID-19 scam robocalls