WASHINGTON (CBS) – More than 5 billion robocalls were made last month alone. A bill proposed in the U.S. Senate would hit those behind annoying robocalls with big fines, and the FCC is demanding telecommunications companies show their plans to meet new standards.

Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat and Republican Sen. John Thune, of South Dakota, are sponsoring the TRACED act to crack down on robocall scams. They say their bill would let the FCC fine scammers up to $10,000 per robocall and give regulators more time to find offenders. It would also require the adoption of call authentication technologies and make it easier for consumers to block unwanted calls.

“As the scourge of spoofed calls and robocalls reaches epidemic levels, the bipartisan TRACED Act will provide every person with a phone much needed relief,” Markey said in a statement. “It’s a simple formula: call authentication, blocking, and enforcement, and this bill achieves all three.”

Related: How you can block robocalls

It’s estimated that the number of robocalls will make up nearly half of all calls next year.


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