Progress being made, but more must be done to stop scourge of robocalls
DES MOINES - Attorney General Tom Miller, who has made fighting robocalls a top priority, today released an update on telecom companies’ progress in implementing the Anti-Robocall Principles he signed onto in 2019.
Since September 2019, companies that agreed to these principles have identified more than 52 billion spam or spoofed numbers calls, authenticated the caller ID numbers of hundreds of billions of calls, and blocked more than 32.5 billion spam, spoofed, or illegal calls.
There is more work to do, however. Already this year, 391,453 Americans have filed reports with the FTC about robocalls, reporting totals of at least $356 million in losses. These numbers underscore the need to continue to fight back against the scourge of robocalls.
“Fighting the influx of robocalls often seems like an unending battle for Iowans,” Miller said. “We are making good progress in the fight and are proud of the progress being made in identifying and blocking billions of spam calls each year. Still, we know that more must be done. Continuing to implement and follow the Anti-Robocall principles will help us in holding illegal robocallers accountable.”
The principles required companies to:
- offer customers free call labeling and blocking tools,
- implement network-level call blocking,
- combat caller ID spoofing on their networks with STIR/SHAKEN technology,
- confirm the identity of commercial customers,
- analyze and monitor high-volume network traffic consistent with robocalls,
- investigate suspicious calls and calling patterns on their networks, and
- cooperate in traceback investigations and aid law enforcement.
Enforcement actions have increased as a result of these efforts by the telecom companies that signed onto the principles. For a full update, click the photo to the right. Since the principles were established:
- The Industry Traceback Group (ITG), working alongside state AGs, ran 4,769 tracebacks, about three times as many investigations as were conducted prior to the principles.
- The ITG identified 319 domestic and foreign providers as originating the majority of robocalls.
- Law enforcement and government agencies, including state AGs, have sent more than 162 civil investigative demands and subpoenas to the ITG alone.
- Law enforcement and government agencies, including state AGs, have sent additional civil investigative demands, subpoenas, and warning letters to the companies that do business with robocallers and with those that help these illegal and fraudulent calls reach consumers.
Industry Traceback investigations and governmental enforcement actions will continue.
More about Attorney General Miller’s work to fight back on robocalls:
Miller urges Congress to take action against robocalls
Miller joins bipartisan group of AGs in fight against robocalls
Miller joins 50 AGs and 12 companies in fight against illegal robocalls
Miller Applauds FCC for Clearing Way to Stop Rampant Illegal Robocalling and Call Spoofing