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December 5, 2018

Miller joins bipartisan group of AGs in fight against robocalls

Multistate group seeks solutions with telecom companies

DES MOINES -- Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced that he has joined a bipartisan group of attorneys general in 38 states and the District of Columbia to stop or reduce annoying and harmful robocalls. This coalition is reviewing the technology major telecom companies are pursuing to fight illegal robocalls.

"The robocall problem is getting worse," Miller said. "These calls are not simply annoying; in some cases, they are employed by scammers to prey upon consumers."  

Since it was formed, the multistate group has had in-depth meetings with several major telecom companies. These productive meetings have led to greater information sharing about the technological capabilities in existence or in development to fight these calls. 

Miller and his colleagues are working to: 

  • Develop a detailed understanding of what is technologically feasible to minimize unwanted robocalls and illegal telemarking;
  • Engage the major telecom companies to encourage them to expedite the best possible solutions for consumers;
  • Determine whether states should make further recommendations to the FCC;
  • Evaluate and coordinate future enforcement efforts against bad actors; and
  • Educate consumers about current call-blocking options.

The number of robocalls are increasing sharply. In November, there were nearly 5.1 billion robocalls made, compared with 2.7 million a year ago, according to YouMail, which tracks the most common auto-dialed calls every month.

While there’s no single way to stop all unwanted calls, consumers do have a few tools to fight back, including using call-blocking apps and other services. The multistate group will explore other possible solutions.

This group includes attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

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