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State Announces Agreement with Companies on 'Robocalls'

 

September 5, 2019



Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Aug. 22 announced that a coalition of 51 attorneys general reached an agreement with 12 major phone companies to fight illegal robocalls.

The companies are AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream. The telecom companies have agreed to adopt eight principles targeted at improving prevention and enforcement of illegal robocalls, according to the attorney general’s office.

The phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by:

• Offering some form of call blocking services for all types of telephone customers, at no cost to the customer;

• Offering free, easy-to-use labeling tools for smartphone mobile and voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) residential customers;

• Implementing technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source;

• Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic.

In addition, the phone companies agreed to assist attorneys general with anti-robocall enforcement by:

• Knowing who their commercial customers are so bad actors using the phone company’s network can be identified and investigated;

• Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers – including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general;

• Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls;

• Requiring other service providers with which the phone companies contract to cooperate in traceback identification.

‘More than annoying’

“Robocall scams are not simply an annoyance – they are illegal, and they are used to take advantage of our seniors and other vulnerable populations,” said Attorney General Shapiro.

The phone companies also agreed to stay in close communication with the coalition of attorneys general to continue to optimize robocall protections as technology and scammer techniques change.

Pennsylvania consumers who believe they have received an illegal robocall should file a complaint at http://www.attorneygeneral.gov or contact the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at [email protected] or call (800) 441-2555.

 

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