AG Kaul Urges Efforts to Stop Robocallers from Misusing Legitimate Phone Numbers
MADISON, Wis.—Attorney General Josh Kaul today wrote the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of its efforts to reduce illegal robocallers’ access to legitimate phone numbers to make unending robocalls that scam people out of their hard-earned money.
“Illegal robocalls are an annoyance to all of us, and the scams that they facilitate cause significant hardship,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “The FCC’s effort to make it more difficult for illegal robocallers to hide their identities is a step in the right direction, and I’m proud to join with a bipartisan group of AGs in supporting that effort. We need to keep taking steps to help prevent people from being inundated with robocalls.”
Earlier this year, phone companies were required to implement STIR/SHAKEN – caller ID authentication technology to combat spoofing by ensuring that telephone calls originate from verified numbers. Because the technology prevents robocallers from spoofing phone numbers, scam robocalls have dropped by 29 percent since June as the phone industry continues to put STIR/SHAKEN into effect.
Robocallers are now successfully evading caller ID authentication by purchasing access to legitimate phone numbers to conceal their identities. They typically do this by providing false identifying information to, or otherwise shielding their identities from, the companies that have access to legitimate numbers.
The attorneys general support the FCC’s proposals to implement a more thorough application, review, and monitoring process for phone companies that request direct access to phone numbers and to require these companies to verify their customers’ identities to help keep the numbers from being sold, leased, or rented to illegal robocallers. This includes limiting the use of both temporary phone numbers for trial customers and untraceable payment mechanisms.
Attorney General Kaul is joined in sending this comment letter by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.