American robocallers to be shamed in public lists

FCC vows to reveal latest names and numbers each week

US phone watchdog the FCC will publish a weekly updated list of annoying robocalling companies.

The regulator's Consumer Help Center will reveal the telephone numbers of all robocaller operations, and organizations that flout do-not-call rules. The tables can be used by phone filtering software to block cold callers.

The FCC has kept track of robocallers' numbers, although it hasn't updated its lists very regularly – until now. The regulator hopes a weekly list will improve blocking tools, and discourage marketers from making automated calls.

"This data will help improve do-not-disturb technologies so they can provide the best service for consumers," said FCC consumer and governmental affairs bureau chief Alison Kutler.

"As we encourage providers to offer these services, and as the Commission recently made clear that there are no legal barriers to doing so, we continue to look for ways to help facilitate important consumer tools."

Outfits that break the rules on cold calling risk a lot more than blocking: the FCC has the power to fine repeat violators. In some cases, the watchdog has extracted millions of dollars from companies that have continued to harass people via their phones. ®

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