Across the United States, state attorneys general have joined together to combat the epidemic of hundreds of thousands of robo-calls that affect U.S. citizens every year. The Federal Communications Commission estimates that U.S. citizens receive 350,000 robo-calls annually, and that 164,500 of those calls – or 64 percent – are illegal
Fifty-one attorneys general, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, are taking action fight robo-calling. Today, the attorneys general announced that they are combining forces with 12 telecom carriers to block robo-calls.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was part of robo-call cohort. Citizens within Arkansas, she says, are “sick and tired” of robo-calls.
“Every person in the State is sick and tired of the never ending robocalls,” Rutledge said in a statement. “Robocallers and scam calls make everyone angry, and sadly, too many Arkansans lose their life savings to an overseas con. I’m committed more than ever to do everything in my power to stop these calls and hold these scammers accountable.
The new agreement is designed to prevent individuals from scam and spoofing calls, stop illegal robo-calls and aid law enforcement in investigating those responsible for illegal activity. Under the terms of the agreement, the carriers agreed to eight principles.
These principles include:
- Offer free call blocking and labeling
- Implement Stir/Shaken
- Analyze and monitor network traffic
- Investigate suspicious calls and calling patterns
- Confirm the identity of commercial customers
- Require traceback cooperation in contracts
- Cooperate in traceback investigations
- Communicate with state attorneys general
Carriers have agreed to implement network-level call-blocking at no cost and provide tools that protect customer’s personal information.
“By signing on to these principles, industry leaders are taking new steps to keep your phone from ringing with an unwanted call,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said in a statement.
The 12 companies that have signed the agreement include AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink., Charter Communications, Comcast, Consolidated Communications Holdings, Frontier Communications, Sprint., T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream Holdings.
This is the latest move by Rutledge to combat robo-calling. In the 2019 General Session, she urged lawmakers to pass Acts 677 and 1074 to apply more severe penalties for illegal robocalls and require telecom companies to submit annual reports to the Arkansas Public Service Commission.