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PSC Considers Putting Pressure on Cell Phone Companies Over

PSC Considers Putting Pressure on Cell Phone Companies Over Robocalls
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The head of the Mississippi Public Service Commission wants cell phone companies to do their part to stop robocalls. MPB's Mark Rigsby reports.

Public Service Commission Chairman Brandon Presley is leading the charge against the problem of annoying robocalls, like this.

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Presely is proposing to withhold federal dollars from cell phone companies if they fail to step up to block them.He also wants to investigate whether the companies make money off these types of calls.

"I'm convinced our telephone companies can be doing more than they're doing about this scourge of telemarketing calls. It's gotten out of hand. It's ridiculous. And it went from being a simple annoyance to Mississippians, to being, quite frankly, dangerous."

Presley says cell companies should offer options to customers to block robocalls, and come up with ways to stop caller ID spoofing. That's when telemarketers trick you into answering a call by using numbers that look legitimate. CSpire spokesman Dave Miller says the company does not make money off robocalls, and it would be unfair to cut off federal funding.

"We feel partially responsible for the problem, because obviously, they're using phones, and that's how these robocalls come through. The real part of the problem is to go to the core, to get these companies, to prohibit them from engaging in these types of activities."

Miller says the true action and enforcement against telemarketers sending robocalls should be on the federal level. The PSC has created a first-of-its-kind smart phone app for your number to be placed on the state's Do Not Call list and report complaints.