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U.S. attorneys general call on FCC to act against ‘scourge’ of robocalls

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:10 PM CST
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(WOWT) - Nebraska’s Attorney General signed on to a bipartisan letter to the FCC calling for increased efforts in targeting scammers by “stemming the tide” of foreign-based robocalls.

Initiated by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, the letter was signed by 51 AGs.

“Illegal robocalls are a scourge in 2020. Americans lost more than $520 million through robocall scams,” the release from the Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson’s office states.

The attorneys general want the Federal Communications Commission to target companies letting such foreign calls into the U.S., known as “gateway providers.”

The AGs are asking the FCC to require these “gateway providers” to step up efforts to reduce robocalls, including:

  • Responding to requests from law enforcement, state attorneys general, or the FCC to trace back calls within 24 hours.
  • Blocking calls when providers are aware of an illegal or likely fraudulent caller.
  • Blocking calls that originate from numbers that are on a “do not originate” list – such as government phone numbers that are for incoming calls only.
  • Ensuring that foreign telephone companies they partner with are ensuring that calls are being made from legitimate numbers.

The AGs also want the FCC to compel phone companies to block calls from such gateway providers.

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