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September 19, 2022

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL JOINS COALITION CALLING ON FCC TO CRACK DOWN ON FRAUDULENT ROBOCALLS

Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a bipartisan coalition of 51 attorneys general in calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to require telephone providers that route calls across the United States telephone network to implement more rigorous measures to prevent illegal and fraudulent robocalls.

“Robocalls are a continued source of frustration for Illinoisans, and we must utilize every tool at our disposal to curb these calls that cost residents time and money,” Raoul said. “I urge the FCC to adopt these expanded rules to ensure all telecommunications companies are working to reduce the number of fraudulent calls entering the United States.”

According to Raoul and the coalition, illegal robocalls cost consumers, law enforcement and the telecommunications industry approximately $13.5 billion every year, with calls often originating from overseas scam actors who spoof United States-based phone numbers. While the FCC recently required phone companies that allow robocalls onto the United States telephone network to do more to keep them out, the agency is now proposing expanding many of these rules.

In their letter to the FCC, Raoul and the coalition express support for the FCC proposal to extend the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, a caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls, to all “intermediate” phone providers in the United States. Currently, only providers that originate call traffic are required to implement STIR/SHAKEN. The coalition also urges the FCC to require providers to adopt additional measures to cut down on illegal and fraudulent robocalls, including responding to law enforcement traceback requests within 24 hours and blocking illegal traffic as soon as possible.

Raoul and the coalition note the importance of uniform robocall mitigation practices to stem the tide of illegal and fraudulent robocalls.

Attorney General Raoul has been a consistent advocate for protections against illegal robocalls. Just last month, Raoul announced Illinois would be joining the nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States. In 2020, Raoul joined a coalition of 33 attorneys general in filing a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court defending the anti-robocall provisions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. In August 2019, Raoul joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington D.C. in partnering with 12 phone companies to create a set of principles for telecom companies to fight robocalls. In June 2019, Raoul, in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission, announced a major crackdown on robocalls that included 94 actions targeting operations around the country that were responsible for more than 1 billion calls. Raoul has also submitted comments to the FCC urging the adoption of its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing.

Joining Raoul in sending the comment letter are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, 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, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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