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May 6, 2019

42 AGs urge FCC to act against robocalls, Caller ID spoofing

‘New rules cannot come soon enough,’ letter says


DES MOINES — Attorney General Tom Miller joined a coalition of 42 attorneys general calling on the Federal Communications Commission to take further action to stop the growing proliferation of illegal robocalls and spoofing.

In formal legal comments delivered to the FCC, the attorneys general urged the agency to adopt its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing on calls to the United States originating from overseas, while also addressing spoofing in text messaging and alternative voice services. These provisions are included in the FCC appropriations authorization bill also known as the RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018.

The number of spoofed calls and the consumer financial losses tied to these scams have increased by nearly 50 percent in recent years.  

“The exponential growth in unlawful scam robocalls is putting more and more of our vulnerable populations at risk,” the letter reads. “The Commission’s new rules cannot come soon enough.”

Americans received almost 18 billion scam robocalls in 2018. Overall, robocalls increased in the U.S. by 57 percent from 2017 to 2018. The FCC reports that imposter scams have reportedly cost consumers $488 million just in 2018.

Miller advises consumers to report suspected scam calls to the FCC Consumer Complaint Center and consider using call-blocking apps and other services to reduce the number of robocalls received, among other tips.

The coalition sending formal comments to the FCC is composed of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

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