The FCC is going after robocalls and demanding wireless carriers adopt caller authentication procedures to alleviate the growing number of nuisance phone calls American consumers are receiving, agency Chairman Ajit Pai said Friday.
"I get those calls myself," Pai told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "I don't answer the phone if I don't have the number programmed in my phone. We're going after the scammers."
The "biggest fines in the FCC's history" have been put on robocalls, said Pai, and the FCC is demanding caller ID authentication "to make sure the phone call won't be placed on your phone unless it's from a person who can legitimately call you."
Part of the issue is with technology that allows callers to easily spoof telephone numbers so that it appears calls are coming from legitimate numbers, said Pai.
"The technology is developed to the point it's easy to spoof a phone number calling from abroad," said Pai. "You can make it look like you have the same area code and first three numbers of somebody living in a small town in Iowa. That's why we're empowering phone companies to crack down and demand they adopt caller ID authentication."
He said the move is the FCC's "top consumer protection priority" and the law is clear on the issue, even if it does add regulations to companies.
Pai said he's posted responses of 14 major phone companies on the FCC's website, and for the most part, the companies are stepping up to the challenge and making plans to meet his deadline.