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Anti-robocall bill co-sponsored by Rep. French Hill overwhelmingly passes House

The issue of "robocalls" or suspicious phone calls from a suspicious entity—sometimes mirroring your own number— has gotten closer to being solved.

The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED) was passed by the House Wednesday, Dec. 4, by a vote of 413-3, making the passage overwhelmingly bipartisan.

Robocalls have been an increasing frustration for many Arkansans with almost everyone encountering a suspicious phone call at least once, if not many times.

Representative French Hill (R-AR 2nd District) took to Twitter once the bill passed on Wednesday. "Are you frustrated with robocalls? So am I. That is why I cosponsored the TRACED Act," he said.

Phone companies began using verification tools to help reassure their customers after regulators started pressuring those carriers. These pressures are trying to crack down on the amount of fraudulent calls, or "robocalls," where the entity on the other end is attempting to get your personal information by using a fake phone number to seem credible.

For example, a number can be faked to look like it is coming from your phone carrier (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) or your bank, or even from the same area code (or almost the same number) as yours.

The act, if passed through the Senate, would require phone companies to block robocalls without charging customers extra money and would also require most carriers in the U.S. to verify that all numbers are legitimate, no longer just being pressured to do so.

The bill also gives government regulators more time to find those behind the fraudulent calls in order to penalize them more aggressively. 

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