RICHMOND, VA — Attorney General Jason Miyares (me-YAR-ez) today called on the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to require the telephone providers that route calls across the U.S. telephone network to implement more rigorous measures to prevent illegal and fraudulent robocalls.
“Robocalls aren’t just annoying – they are illegal tools used to take advantage of the most vulnerable in our communities. We have to do more to protect Virginians from these scammers, which is why I’m encouraging the FCC to require more robocall protection technology,” said Attorney General Miyares.
Illegal robocalls cost consumers, law enforcement, and the telecom industry approximately $13.5 billion every year. Often, these calls originate from overseas scam actors who spoof U.S.-based phone numbers, and the FCC recently required the phone companies that let these calls onto the U.S. telephone network to do more to keep them out. The FCC is now proposing expanding many of these rules to those few phone companies that, although largely invisible to the public, are exclusively responsible for routing these fraudulent and illegal calls across the U.S. phone network, regardless of where the calls originate.
In their letter, Attorney General Miyares and a bipartisan coalition of 50 other attorneys general support the FCC’s proposal to extend the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, a caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls, to all “intermediate” phone providers in the United States. Right now, only providers that originate call traffic are required to implement STIR/SHAKEN. The coalition also urges the FCC to require providers to adopt these protections and additional measures to cut down on illegal and fraudulent robocalls, including responding to law enforcement traceback requests within 24 hours and blocking illegal traffic, as soon as possible. If all telecom companies have the same robocall mitigation practices, bad actors will not be able to exploit inconsistencies among providers and law enforcement will be better able to identify and prosecute the bad actors who try profit from illegal robocalls.
Attorney General Miyares is joined in sending this bipartisan comment letter by the Attorneys General of North Carolina, Arkansas, Connecticut, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia and Guam.
A copy of the letter is available HERE.