GREENVILLE, N.C (WNCT) – A year since a new federal law went into place to battle robocalls, a new report shows the process is working but a new issue is creeping up.

A report issued by NC Public Interest Research Group says phone companies that have adopted the required technology have quadrupled and the volume of scam robocalls has dropped in half. However, spam texts have increased more as scammers find alternative ways to steal Americans’ personal information.

“Too often, we hear stories about elderly people who lose their life savings after responding to someone they think is from their bank,” said Katie Craig, state director of the NCPIRG Education Fund. ”I’d like to see regulators, lawmakers and executives from phone companies explain to that family why they haven’t done more to help their grandma.”

The full report, called “Ringing in our Fears,” breaks down the Federal Communications Commission’s robocall mitigation database of 7,514 voice providers nationwide. It shows:

● 1,932 have installed the industry-standard STIR/SHAKEN technology, up from 536 companies last year.
● 1,518 have partially adopted the STIR/SHAKEN technology, up from 817 companies last year.
● 3,062 have not installed STIR/SHAKEN but claim to be using their own robocall mitigation system. That compares with 1,710 companies last year. The increase reflects companies that didn’t report their status last year.
● 1,002 claimed they’re exempt from the requirements, almost all because they’re intermediate providers that don’t originate or complete calls

The report also states while the phone companies have certainly done their work, a lot more still needs to be done. The number of monthly scam robocalls has dropped from 2.1 billion to 1.1 billion in the year since the law took effect, according to a leading robocall-filtering company. While robocalls may be ringing in our ears less often, excessive robotexts are now ringing in our fears of being scammed: They have increased from 1 billion to 12 billion a month in the last year.

“We’ve focused on scam robocalls for 15 years and can’t believe we haven’t made more progress,” Craig said. “The FCC approves new rules, Congress passes new laws, yet we still have more than a billion scam robocalls and 12 times as many robotexts a month. Americans deserve better enforcement and corporations need to take their share of responsibility.”

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