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June 5, 2020

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL WORKS TO EXPOSE ILLEGAL ROBOCALLERS

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of the State Attorneys General Robocall Working Group, issued a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) encouraging continued collaboration among state attorneys general and telecom companies to coordinate tracing back illegal robocalls to their source.

“Robocalls continue to be some of the most frequent consumer complaints my office receives, and with good reason because they cost people time and money,” Raoul said. “States partnering with the FCC and telecom companies help us trace these illegal calls back to their source and support our work to end the nuisance of robocalls.”

Under the TRACED Act, which became law in December 2019, the FCC will select a single registered association to manage the work to trace back illegal robocalls. Because a call can pass through the networks of many telecom companies before reaching its final destination, tracing that call, which is key to enforcing laws against illegal robocallers, requires collaboration among telecom companies and state attorneys general. In their comments, Raoul and the coalition note that traceback investigations are necessary for law enforcement to more efficiently identify and investigate illegal robocallers and expose voice service providers that assist and facilitate illegal robocallers.

For the last few years, state attorneys general have encouraged the telecom industry to increase the number and speed of traceback investigations each month. Many telecom companies have joined this effort and are working hard to stop illegal robocallers. Traceback investigations are more urgent than ever because of coronavirus-related robocall scams, including scams related to coronavirus relief checks, pitches for coronavirus test kits, health plans offering coronavirus testing, work-from-home offers preying on job-seekers, and scams offering relief on utility bills, student loans, taxes, or other debt.

Since 2018, Illinois has been a member of a coalition of states working with the telecom industry to attack the scourge of robocalls in a comprehensive way by implementing commonsense business practices to minimize illegal robocalls and trace these calls back to their source. This coalition of 45 states includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Attorney General Raoul is joined in submitting today’s comments by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, 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, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Attorney General Raoul has been a consistent advocate for protections against illegal robocalls. In 2019, Raoul, in cooperation with the FTC, announced a major crackdown on robocalls that included 94 actions targeting operations around the country that were responsible for more than 1 billion calls. As part of that crackdown, Raoul filed a lawsuit against Glamour Services, LLC; Awe Struck, Inc.; and Matthew Glamkowski, the manager of Glamour Services and president of Awe Struck for allegedly using robocalling and telemarking to solicit home cleaning services. In May 2019, Raoul submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission urging the adoption of its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing.

Consumers who wish to file a complaint concerning robocalls they have received can do so on the Attorney General’s website. Information about how consumers can add their number to the Do Not Call Registry is also available on the Attorney General’s website.

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