Attorneys general for all 50 states have joined forces to add steam to the seemingly never-ending battle against automated calling. North Carolina AG Josh Stein, Indiana AG Todd Rokita and Ohio AG Dave Yost are leading the formation of the new Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. In Stein’s announcement, he said the group will focus on taking legal action against telecom companies, particularly gateway providers, that allow or turn a blind eye to foreign robocalls to US numbers.
He explained that gateway providers that route foreign phone calls into the US telephone network have a legal responsibility to ensure the traffic they bring in is legal. Stein said that most of the time, however, they do nothing to keep robocalls off the US phone network, and in many cases they even intentionally let robocall traffic through in exchange for steady revenue.
Stein said in a statement:
“We … will take action against phone companies that violate state and federal laws. I’m proud to be creating this nationwide task force to hold companies accountable for ignoring the robocallers they’re leaking to their networks so they can make more money. I have already filed a landmark lawsuit against an out-of-state gateway provider, and I will have no hesitation in taking legal action against others who are breaking our laws and bombarding North Carolina residents with these harmful, illegal calls.”
The attorney general was referring to data from the National Consumer Law Center, which previously reported that American phone numbers receive more than 33 million fraudulent automated calls every day. These include Social Security scams targeting seniors and gift card scams where bad actors pretend to be from the IRS. In that report, the center warned that consumers will continue to receive robocalls as long as phone carriers make money from them.
Stein has prior experience sparring with shady gateway vendors. Back in January, he sued Articul8 for routing more than 65 million calls to North Carolina phone numbers and swamping residents with up to 200 fraudulent telemarketing calls each day. Previously, he called on the FCC to take action to also stop illegal international calls through providers like Articul8. And in 2019, Stein was instrumental in developing an agreement between the US Attorney General and 12 carriers in the country to use STIR/SHAKEN call-blocking technology.
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https://www.engadget.com/us-attorneys-general-band-robocalls-055620761.html?src=rss US Attorneys General will take legal action against telecom providers enabling robocalls