Thursday, August 22, 2019

Attorney General Announces Plan to Stop Robocalls

Attorney General Mike Hunter has announced the result of an 18-month investigation by a bipartisan, multistate, working group of attorneys general and phone companies that have partnered to find meaningful solutions to illegal and unwanted robocalls.

The ongoing working group consists of attorneys general from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and 12 different service providers. Working collaboratively, the companies agreed to adopt a set of eight principles to fight illegal robocalls, which will protect customers and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute the criminals orchestrating the schemes.

Attorney General Hunter said the agreement marks another positive step in combating illegal robocalls.

“The agreed-upon principles will implement much-needed prevention and enforcement mechanisms that will have a meaningful impact for all Americans,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Scams committed over the phone continue to be one of the top ways fraud is committed in the United States. Too many individuals have already fallen victim and have either lost money, their identities or other personal information. Our best weapon against this crime can no longer only be advice to not pick up the phone.

“I commend the companies that have pledged to work with my colleagues and me to implement new technology, while actively monitoring networks for robocall traffic and committing to cooperating in investigations that trace the origins of the calls so we can take enforcement action.”

Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by: 

*Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers; 
*Making available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools; 
*Implementing technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source; and 
*Monitoring networks for robocall traffic.

Phone companies will assist attorneys’ general anti-robocall enforcement by: 

*Knowing who the customers are so scams can be identified and investigated; 
*Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers – including notifying law enforcement and    state attorneys general; 
*Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal         robocalls; and 
*Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.

To read the principles in more detail, click here:

Additionally, phone companies will stay in close communication with the coalition of attorneys general to continue to optimize robocall protections as technology and scammer techniques change.

The coalition of companies includes AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon and Windstream.

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