Attorney General James Urges FCC To Strengthen Efforts To Stop Robocalls And Illegal Spoofing

51 AGs Join Bipartisan Effort to Protect Consumers

NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James and a bipartisan coalition of Attorneys General from all 50 states and the District of Columbia today, in a comment letter, urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to encourage telecom companies to implement call blocking and call authentication solutions to protect consumers from illegal robocalls and spoofing.

“We must stop these bad actors from taking advantage of vulnerable Americans,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “Our bipartisan group of Attorneys General is on the prowl for illegal robocalls, spoofing, and any other digital scheme aimed at scamming innocent Americans. These outlaws may be able to run behind a spoofed number, but they won’t be able to hide when they have 51 Attorneys General chasing them down.”

Today’s announcement follows last week’s unveiling of the Anti-Robocall Principles that will fight illegal robocalls, announced by Attorney General James and a bipartisan, public-private coalition of 51 Attorneys General and 12 phone companies.

In today’s comment letter, the coalition of 51 Attorneys General state that telecom providers should: 

  • Offer free, automatic call-blocking services to all customers, and that these services should be based on reasonable analytics that should never block important calls — including emergency alerts or automated calls  that customers have signed up for, like medical reminders;
  • Monitor network traffic to identify patterns consistent with robocalls and take action to cut off the calls or notify law enforcement;
  • Implement STIR/SHAKEN caller ID call authentication technology, which will help ensure that telephone calls are originating from secure, verified numbers, and not spoofed sources (The coalition supports the FCC’s proposal to take regulatory action against telecom companies that do not comply with STIR/SHAKEN); and
  • Develop caller ID authentication to prevent robocalls to landline telephones, which is particularly urgent since those typically scammed by robocall offenders are elderly consumers or those living in rural areas — both groups which primarily use landline technology. 

Many of these actions are also covered in the Anti-Robocall Principles, a set of eight principles focused on addressing illegal robocalls through prevention and enforcement. Twelve phone companies — including the Big 4 phone companies — have already signed on to the principles.

Joining Attorney General James in signing these comments are the Attorneys General of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.