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Partnership set up to fight illegal robocalls across the country

Posted at 2:47 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 14:47:45-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday a partnership has been created to fight illegal robocalls across the country.

The partnership consists of the attorney generals from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and 12 phone companies. The 12 companies have agreed to adopt eight principles to protect users and make it easier for AGs to investigate and prosecute bad actors.

According to an independent study with data compiled by the Federal Trade Commission, in 2018 New York State residents made the fourth highest number of robocall complaints nationwide.

The eight principles the phone companies agreed to are as follows:

Work to prevent illegal robocalls by:

1. Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level, at no cost to customers.
2. Making available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools.
3. Implementing technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source.
4. Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic.

Assist Attorneys’ General anti-robocall enforcement efforts by:

5. Knowing who their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated;
6. Investigating and taking action — including notifying law enforcement and State Attorneys General — against suspicious callers;
7. Working with law enforcement — including State Attorneys General — to trace the origins of illegal robocalls; and
8. Requiring telephone companies with which they contract with to cooperate in traceback identification.

The bad actors running these deceptive operations will soon have one call left to make: to their lawyers. New Yorkers don’t want to be woken up by illegal robocalls, don’t want their dinner interrupted by scamming robocalls, and don’t even want one minute of their day disrupted by robocalls that only aim to swindle innocent victims, so we’re taking action to bring the number of unsolicited calls way down. Thanks to the phone companies’ prevention efforts and the bipartisan Attorneys’ General enforcement efforts, the days of preying upon, misleading, and taking advantage of individuals throughout our state and this country will soon be numbered.
New York Attorney General Letitia James