The TCPA was intended to combat invasion of privacy, but privacy invaders have significantly changed since the act was passed in 1991.
Today’s real violators are rarely businesses that blast-fax advisements or telemarketers who robocall sequential or random cell phone numbers. All too frequently, modern autodialed calls utilize “spoofing”: the calling number has a nearby area code but actually originates from another number, often from somewhere abroad.
Typically, spoofed calls are autodialed and begin with a pre-recorded introduction offering something of value to entice the called party to proceed, like a chance to win a free vacation. If the called party stays on the line, the recording ends and a live person joins to read from a script asking for personal or financial details. The Treasury Department estimates that $54 million has been lost on such scams since October 2013.
The Senate recently passed the Spoofing Prevention Act of 2017, aimed at extending the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 (47 U.S.C. § 227(e), 47 C.F.R. § 64.1604), which does not apply to callers outside of the U.S. The act adopted an earlier version passed by the House.
The point: The TCPA is too open invoked to punish well-meaning companies under the guise of invasion of privacy. New legislation is aimed at reining in the most egregious violators.