Attorney General Phil Weiser urges FCC to block illegal robocalls from other countries
Jan. 10, 2022 (DENVER) — Attorney General Phil Weiser today urged the Federal Communications Commission to help stem the tide of foreign-based illegal robocalls that attempt to scam Americans.
A bipartisan group of 51 attorneys general encouraged the FCC to adopt rules requiring gateway providers — the companies that allow foreign calls into the United States — to reduce how easily robocalls enter the U.S. telephone network, including implementing STIR/SHAKEN, a caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls.
In 2020, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office received 638 reports of fraudulent and unwanted telephone calls, and Americans lost more than $520 million through robocall scams.
“We consistently see robocalls in the top 10 consumer complaints reported to our office, and many of these calls come from outside the United States,” Weiser said. “By taking action, the FCC can establish a new and necessary layer of protection for consumers who regularly receive deceptive phone calls and are in danger of being taken in by scammers. These robocalls are a scourge and we must act quickly to protect consumers.”
In the letter, the attorneys general support the FCC’s proposal which will require gateway providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN technology within 30 days of it becoming a rule to help eliminate spoofed calls and to make sure that international calls that originate from U.S. telephone numbers are legitimate.
The attorneys general are also supporting the FCC’s proposal to require gateway providers to take additional measures to reduce robocalls, including:
- Responding to requests from law enforcement, state attorneys general, or the FCC to trace back calls within 24 hours;
- Blocking calls when providers are aware of an illegal or likely fraudulent caller;
- Blocking calls that originate from numbers that are on a “do not originate” list – such as government phone numbers that are for incoming calls only; and
- Ensuring that foreign telephone companies they partner with are ensuring that calls are being made from legitimate numbers.
Attorney General Weiser previously led a bipartisan effort to urge Congress to act against robocalls, and joined 50 other attorneys general in successfully calling on the FCC to shorten by a year the deadline for smaller telephone companies to implement STIR/SHAKEN.
Coloradans can report fraudulent or unwanted telephone calls to stopfraudcolorado.gov.