Nationwide Effort to Stop Illegal Robocalls
Aug 22, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced a new, nationwide effort to block illegal robocalls. Attorney General Moody and a bipartisan coalition of 51 attorneys general are partnering with 12 leading voice service providers to adopt a set of Anti-Robocall Principles to help block and trace illegal robocalls. Following the new principles, the voice service providers will implement new technology to help eliminate millions of these illegal calls and track the source of the calls.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Scammers are using spoofing and cutting-edge software to make millions of illegal robocalls every day. Through these new principles, the nation’s largest voice service providers are fighting back using their own advanced technology. Not only will these new efforts help consumers block unwanted calls, they will also provide attorneys general nationwide crucial information to stop scams and hold those who make illegal robocalls accountable.”
The goal of the new nationwide effort is to assist consumers and aid attorneys general in identifying and prosecuting robocall scams by incorporating the Anti-Robocall Principles into current business practices.
The Anti-Robocall Principles for voice service providers are:
- Offer free call blocking and labeling;
- Implement STIR/SHAKEN call authentication;
- Analyze and monitor network traffic;
- Investigate suspicious calls and calling patterns;
- Confirm the identity of commercial customers;
- Require traceback cooperation in contracts;
- Cooperate in traceback investigations; and
- Communicate with state attorneys general about recognized scams and trends in illegal robocalling.
The principles agreed to by the state attorneys general and voice service providers are the result of an 18-month effort by a bipartisan multistate coalition of attorneys general. The initiative explored the technological solutions that major telecommunication voice service providers were designing, developing and implementing to stop the illegal robocalls to ensure that these solutions were viable and available as soon as practicable to customers.
Voice service providers adopting the new principles include AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon and Windstream.
Attorney General Moody has been actively fighting illegal robocalls this year. Most recently, Attorney General Moody joined the Federal Trade Commission in a nationwide crackdown, Operation Call It Quits, taking legal action against two separate robocall operations.
This past May, in another matter, Attorney General Moody and the FTC announced the distribution of refund checks to victims of an illegal robocall operation.
In a letter signed by 42 other attorneys general in May, Attorney General Moody urged the Federal Communications Commission to take steps to stop the growing spread of illegal robocalls using spoofing.
Finally, in March, Attorney General Moody called on Congress to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act to reduce the number of illegal robocalls and fight spoofing. The TRACED Act passed the Senate in May. The Act is still awaiting House approval.